Date: Friday 8th November 2019
Venue: The Stadium of Light Montgomery Suite
Time: 12:15pm – 3:30pm
With over 150 attendees confirmed, the ‘Tackling Homophobia in North East Football’ conference is promising to be the region’s largest LGBT+ and football focused event jointly organised through partnership with Durham County FA and Durham Pride’s North East Rainbow Alliance, hosted by Sunderland AFC at the Stadium of Light.
The event will be opened by Mel Spedding, President of Durham County FA and presented by Peter Darrant-Parkes, a leading LGBT+ broadcaster. Workshops will be facilitated by former Sunderland AFC Legend Gary Bennett, Chris Paouros who is a member of the English FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board and Mel Metcalf, founder of Durham Pride and CEO of the North East Rainbow Alliance.
This ground-breaking conference will explore the reasons why football remains an area where people feel it is still acceptable to use offensive language and behavior around someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity? We know this is not a stand-alone problem in football, having witnessed racism at league games and more recently, at international level.
The afternoon will consist of specialist panels including the Chief Constable of Durham, Police and Crime Commissioners from across our region and LGBT+ groups and supporters clubs. With LGBT+ hate crime at an all-time high in our society, we will be asking what we can do in football to tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, in all its forms.
We hope this event will help everyone who wishes to engage in organised football is able to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment – whether as a player, coach, official or referee.
Durham County FA Company Secretary John Topping commented;
“This conference is a significant milestone in addressing a relatively hidden issue within football in the North-East region. This is the beginning of a partnership approach to improving opportunities for the LGBT+ community to take an active part in grassroots football and also to raise awareness for those already participating.”
Mel Metcalf Founder of Durham Pride UK and CEO of North East Rainbow Alliance said;
“This is a real opportunity to highlight the issues faced by so many LGBT+ in North East grassroots football. This innovative conference is bringing together a whole host of allies to help send a clear message that Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia will not be tolerated in our communities or national game. Next year we will see our first LGBT+ friendly football tournament to strengthen this partnership approach even further”
There will be a selection of information stalls from leading North East based agencies including Age UK, MIND, ARCH Sexual Violence Services, Harbour Domestic Violence Services, Soldiers Sailors and Airforce Association and many more.
The outcome of the conference will look at how we move forward within our region of seven local authorities bridging from South Tyneside to Stockton on Tees to make local football more inclusive and truly FOR ALL!
To book a place at the Conference please contact;
Durham County FA
T: 0191 3872929 (Option 1)