Lou Englefield from Football v Homophobia leads workshop for Wigan Athletic Under 18s.
- Under 18s take part in Football v Homophobia workshop.
- Lou Englefield from Football v Homophobia impressed with apprentices attitude.
- Part of the club’s support for Football v Homophobia’s Month of Action.
Earlier this week Wigan Athletic’s Under 18s took part in a Football v Homophobia workshop, as part of the club’s support for the campaign’s Month of Action this February.
Lou Englefield, Football v Homophobia’s Campaign Director, came and delivered the presentation, which highlighted issues with homophobia in football and what the apprentices and professional footballers could do to challenge homophobia and to make football a more inclusive environment.
Lou said: “It’s amazing to be able to work with young footballers because, hopefully, when they’ve heard our message and worked through some of the issues that the presentation goes through, they will go into their careers and think about things like the language that they use and how accepting they are of a range of different people within the game; it’s a key opportunity for us.”
This was the second year that Lou came in to deliver the workshop to Wigan Athletic’s Under 18s, and 2nd year apprentice James Barrigan found hearing the presentation again just as important as the first time.
James said: “I’ve taken lots away from the presentation, I took part in the workshop last year but again this year I thought it was very beneficial for us all to hear.
“There were new parts to the presentation, like hearing an interview with Robbie Rogers after he came out and went on to win the MLS Cup with LA Galaxy. It was good to be able to hear what gay footballers have said about coming out and how it’s affected their careers.”
Callum Lang added: “It’s important for the football club to show support for campaigns like this, it can help a lot of people to recognise the work that they do because of it.
“Hopefully when people see the ways that the club is showing their support for the campaign, on social media and with the first team warming up in their t-shirts this Saturday, they’ll understand the work and it can help them to be more accepting.”
Mike Hurn, Head of Education and Welfare for the Academy, said: “The apprentices responded really well to the workshop. It can be a difficult subject area for some to embrace but it shouldn’t be.
“Ultimately we want our young players to be open and accepting of everyone they meet and every situation they find themselves in. It is these skills and qualities that will help them to achieve highly in both football and in life.”
The workshop was held as part of the club’s support for Football v Homophobia’s Month of Action this February.