Around 50 young people who are part of Wolves Foundation’s Premier League Kicks initiative discovered more about the important role women have played throughout time at a Black History Month themed session to close the campaign’s October celebrations.
Aged between eight and 18, the participants who form the Foundation’s regular Kicks sessions – which provide young people with a safe place to relax, play football and meet new people – headed to the Foundation Arena in Aldersley on Friday 28th October for an indoor round robin tournament with a difference.
As well as being able to enjoy a fiercely competitive event on the pitch, the participants also took part in Black History Month workshops based around this year’s campaign theme, ‘Saluting our Sisters’.
During the evening, the participants discussed why Black History Month plays an important role in society, as well as learning about some of the remarkable women who have shaped history, inspired change and built communities.
Each young person who attended the event also received an informative poster with past or present role models from the black community who have had contributions to literature, music, fashion, sport, business, politics, academia, social care, health care, and many more areas of society.
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“Every October, to celebrate Black History Month, we theme our Kicks sessions around the campaign,” explains Nikkita Lal, community and cohesion officer at Wolves Foundation.
“They learned all about a black female role models from throughout history and some of the male ones too, while also getting the chance to talk about their own role models, which created really interesting discussions.
“The sessions are always brilliantly attended and the children really take in everything we try and teach them in the workshops, as well as having fun socialising and playing football, so it was another very successful event.”
Following the workshop, the teams took to the pitch where they split into five teams for a round robin tournament, but while the matches were taking place, the players who were not in action had the chance to meet Wolves Academy graduate and Black History Month advocate Micheal Agboola.
During the event, Agboola spoke to all of the participants about his own role models, whether in sport or general society, and what inspired him to play football.
At the end of the session, the young people were given the opportunity to carry out a Q&A with the defender and quiz him on a range of Black History Month topics.
“We are very grateful for Michael coming to the session and speaking passionately about Black History Month and why it’s so important,” Nikkita added.
“They absolutely loved meeting Michael and having the chance to speak to a footballer. They got to know him really well and loved chatting to him.
“It was quite inspiring for all of the young people who attended, and hopefully we can go even bigger with our Black History Month tournament next year.”
Wolves Foundation’s PL Kicks event was one of several initiatives carried out by the club throughout October which celebrated Black History Month.
Earlier this month, Wolves Foundation schools officers led an inclusion workshop at Field View Primary School in Bilston, before heading to Stowlawn Primary School to deliver an assembly to pupils – all as part of the Premier League’s No Room For Racism campaign.
Across the activities, the young people were shown examples of discrimination, encouraged on how to address it and who to report it to, as well as viewing a video commissioned and produced by the Premier League.
While the Foundation’s Walking Football sessions have opened doors to a pair of participants which they could never have dreamed of as it led to them proudly representing their Caribbean heritage at the equivalent of a World Cup.
Rob Wilson and Dave Wallace were both born in England but have families hailing from Jamaica and were part of the Walking Football Caribbean team which reached the quarter final of the inaugural Over-50s World Nations Cup at St George’s Park.
Wolves will continue to celebrate and commemorate black history, and shine a spotlight on all of its equality, diversity and inclusion projects at the club and Wolves Foundation throughout the remainder of the season and beyond.