The standard confirms the club’s commitment to social inclusion and its effort to be non-discriminatory by making Manchester United accessible to all, irrespective of race, age, gender, creed or physical ability.
Representatives from the Club have been working towards the next level of the equality standard throughout the 2007/2008 season.
“Achieving this standard has been a team effort from everyone at the Club,” said John Shiels, chief executive of the Manchester United Foundation, “we are thrilled that our hard work has been recognised by Kick it Out in awarding us the Intermediate Level.”
As part of Kick it Out campaign to kick racism out of football, Manchester United Foundation has helped to organise various events and supported local communities. In December the Foundation organised an anti-racism and bullying seminar for children from the local area where Louis Saha signed up the Trafford’s anti-bullying charter on behalf of the club. Children were given the chance to question celebrities including Darren Campbell and Hollyoaks actress Leah Hackett. More recently, James Chester and Richard Eckersley attended the opening of a new all weather facility at a local school for Muslim boys.
During a week of action in October tournaments and pitch activity at Old Trafford were organised to raise awareness of the campaign. At the game against Middlesbrough, the players warmed up in Kick it Out t-shirts and young people from the Foundation’s Kickz project played on the pitch.
Michael Carrick was this year’s Kick it Out ambassador, he said:
“Everyone should have the chance to enjoy football, irrespective of their background, race or religion. Whether playing in a local football league, watching a game at Old Trafford or playing in the Premier League, people should feel safe in the knowledge that they can enjoy football and be free from abuse or discrimination.”
Kick It Out is football’s anti-racism campaign and works throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge racism and work for positive change.
The campaign is supported and funded by the game’s governing bodies, including founding body the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the FA Premier League, the Football Foundation and The Football Association.