UCFB students were given a unique opportunity to participate in a ground-breaking inclusion event at Wembley’s Box Park on Monday evening.

Delivered in partnership with UCFB, Kick It Out's inaugural Kick It Out Generation youth debate proved to be a memorable occasion for all, after helping raise awareness of the many obstacles facing young, diverse people entering the football industry.

The event, which was attended by over one hundred guests, saw participants of Kick It Out and UCFB's education, mentoring and leadership programmes - Game Changers, Aspire and Next 25, feature as part of two panels that discussed these challenges in-depth, with a view to helping increase the amount of opportunities available to these individuals.


Speaking on the event’s Barriers to Representation panel, UCFB students Cigdem Turkan, Beth Powney and Darnelle Morgan-Johnson addressed the audience to debate the challenges of increasing representation in the industry.

“I’m stereotypically, a loud, black female, and to some, that is intimidating,” said Darnelle.

“I feel like a lot of people find the way that I look, because of the complexion of my skin, and even my height to a certain degree, intimidating because if I have something to say I’m going to say it.

“I’ve been gifted with a voice to speak, but within the sports industry I believe that in some cases it’s hindered me by opportunities that have come my way. There’s been a lot of opportunities that have come around for my peers, but because of the way I look and sometimes how opinionated I may be, I’ve not been given those same opportunities.”

A number of professionals also appeared at the event to deliver short talks, they were: Kick It Out’s Education Officer, Osei Sankofa; Kick It Out’s Head of Development, Troy Townsend; UCFB’s Scholarships and Bursaries Manager, Anielka Pieniazek and Sky Sports News’ Equality and Diversity Planner, Mie Oestergaard.

Commenting on how the event came about, Anielka Pieniazek said: "Last year in recognition of Kick It Out’s 25th anniversary, UCFB and Kick It Out came together and launched the Next 25 Scholarship programme to offer a group of young people, committed to the ideals of equality and inclusion, an opportunity to study a sports related degree at UCFB and make a change in the industry.

"Over a year into the programme, our scholars have been involved in some interesting projects and lively discussions about diversity, fairness and equal opportunities which brought an inspiration to myself and Osei to put together the event and open these discussions to a wider audience of young people."


Kick It Out and UCFB are dedicated to educating the leaders of tomorrow in the importance of diversity and a level playing field at all levels and in all sectors of the sports industry. Find out more.