Location and general information

Game Changers Closed
Location London, United Kingdom
Start date 03/01/2018
End date 02/28/2019
Cost of the project €35,000
Foundation funding €24,500
Project identifier EUR - 0139
Partners Kick It Out
Categories Access to Sport - Personal development


Young adults (16–24 year-olds) in London are better educated on leaving school than ever before. The proportion of 19 year-olds with qualifications has improved significantly in inner-city London, overtaking the English national average. Nevertheless, they are more likely to be unemployed and, even when in work, young adults are very likely to be low paid. Nearly 11% of 16–24 year-olds in London were unemployed in 2014, more than twice the level for 25–64 year-olds, while 77% of 16–20 year-olds and 41% of 21–24 year-olds are low paid. (Source: London’s Poverty Profile website)

At the same time, there are more than 1,450 football clubs with over 3,300 teams across the city. (Source: London Football Association website)

Kick It Out is primarily a campaigning organisation that enables, facilitates and works with the football authorities, professional clubs, players, fans and communities to tackle all forms of discrimination in football. It offers a wide range of educational activities to help pupils and college or university students understand about equality and inclusion within football and across society.

This project targets young adults who are looking for professional opportunities in the football industry. Sustainability is key to its success in providing a new pathway into football leadership and governance for communities that are under-represented in the game.

Project content

Training and development days

At the core of the programme will be eight full-day training sessions on the themes of empowerment, leadership, football governance, project planning, business, coaching, commercial/public affairs and law.

Kick It Out, in partnership with the Premier League, will source expert trainers from the football business, teaching staff from the University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) – a higher education institution offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees along with executive education in the football business, sport and events industries – and BPP University Business School, and experienced educators from outside the sector.

The programme will start with four full-day training sessions on the core learning themes of empowerment (Premier League trainers), leadership (Premier League trainers), football governance (FA trainers), and project planning (Mitre Group trainers). Participants will be expected to attend at least three of the four sessions and will be tested in these areas at the start and end of the project in order to measure how much they have learned.

In between these sessions, the participants will be given additional reading tasks, group discussion questions and other assignments based on the themes covered.

Raise Your Game (RYG) events

Participants will receive priority access to Raise Your Game career events throughout the year.

Raise Your Game is a unique Kick It Out programme that provides opportunities for people who aspire to work in the football industry, and is currently supported by the Premier League. Since its inception in 2012, the programme has helped numerous individuals find career pathways in roles such as coaching, media and communications, player engagement, physiotherapy, refereeing and sports science.

Equality and diversity in football awareness course

Kick It Out is working with Southampton Solent University to offer this unique course aimed at educating future leaders of football and increasing awareness of Kick It Out’s work in all sectors of the game. This course is designed for people who will lead the football industry to greater equality and inclusion.


Mentors will be sourced at the beginning of the project and introduced to participants after their induction. They will deliver a minimum of three coaching sessions to facilitate development at each stage of the programme. They will also support the participants at the end of the project by guiding them as they develop their action plans for the following six months.

The project will also include a scheme in which current members of the Game Changers programme will be able to pass on what they have learned. This peer-to-peer learning can be invaluable as it enables young people to learn directly from recent programme .


  • Providing a new pathway into football leadership and governance for communities underrepresented in the game.
  • Create a tailor-made learning curriculum to promote the values of Kick It Out, such as the benefits of equality, inclusion, diversity policies and practices in football.
  • Create pathway opportunities for young adults with a good education and looking for job opportunities in the sports industry.
  • Develop broader awareness and acceptance of Kick It Out’s activities and its enabling and facilitating roles as a contributory force for good in football.

Project Activities

Pathways can be defined as opportunities available to leaders wishing to progress to senior positions, including .

During the project, Kick It Out will work to identify pathways for participants. Mentors will help each participant to access one of the following opportunities within six months of the project ending:

  • Boards pathway
  • County FA youth councils
  • Grassroots club youth councils
  • Professional club youth councils
  • Internships or work experience within the football industry
  • Leadership roles at grassroots or community level
  • Community leadership programmes run by professional football clubs, Premier League Communities and EFL Trust

Expected results

  • Key football stakeholders will be encouraged to address the issue of under-representation of women, disabled people and individuals from BAME and LGBT communities in leadership and governance positions in football.
  • A new pathway into football leadership and governance will be provided for communities under-represented in the game.
  • Learning and development opportunities will be offered to young leaders from communities under-represented in the game.


Other projects in Europe

Football for all children
Miracoli FC a new vision of a football school. Together we create a community
Sport for Development
Amigos for Children – Visiting sick children in hospital