Grassroots youth football clubs took advantage of the weekend’s spring sunshine at an national five-a-side tournament.
The competition aims to raise awareness and challenge homophobia on and off the pitch.
The Tackle Homophobia Project with Sussex Clubs for Young People hosted the Sussex Round of the tournament at the Downs Leisure Centre, Seaford.
“Discrimination of any form in any setting is not acceptable.”
Sam Whittaker Project Coordinator
With more than 140 young people from across Sussex battling it out in various age groups, the eventual group winners were teams from Seaford and Peacehaven.
Both teams now progress to the South Regional Finals held in Basingstoke in April.
The FA’s Inclusion Education Advisor, Chris Gibbons, was delighted to support an event that helps to promote a positive, inclusive image and reputation for the game.
Gibbons said: "Putting young people at the heart of this work, through the Tackle Homophobia project, sends out a clear message that everyone regardless of sexual orientation should be able to enjoy participating in football."
Tackle Homophobia is a partnership between Mercread Youth Centre, The Justin Campaign and Albion in the Community, and works with young people across the Lewes District.
The project, now in its fourth year, has engaged with over 1,000 young people, delivering educational workshops and weekly football sessions.
Project Coordinator Sam Whittaker added: “This established project continues to proactively challenge homophobia at a local grassroots level through positive activities and informal education.
"The young people involved represent the projects strong message that discrimination of any form in any setting is not acceptable.”
For more information, and details of how to support the project, please contact Sam Whittaker: email@example.com
Click here to learn more about The FA’s “Opening Doors and Joining In”, a whole-game action plan for football working towards wider inclusion of LGB&T people.