The Kick It Out and Sky Inclusion Champion Award recognises an individual or individuals within football, that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the fight against discrimination, while promoting equality and inclusion in football and wider society.

Assistant Head of Coaching at QPR, Manisha Tailor is the first woman and first person of South Asian heritage to hold such a role in the English game. She has also been instrumental in improving representation of South Asians on the pitch, with QPR’s academy boasting 10 players of South Asian heritage – more than any other club in the country. Her skill, resilience and stature are an inspiration, and her success is an example of the kind of change that can be achieved in the sport.

Chris Ramsey, Technical Director at QPR, is a fantastic role model for black coaches in his own right, but also a tireless proponent of diversity and opportunity for aspiring coaches from underrepresented groups. Ramsey saw huge coaching potential in Manisha and gave her a platform to excel, just as he has with many others. QPR’s inclusive and diverse coaching staff owe a lot to Ramsey’s efforts to build a culture that sees talent in all its forms.

The QPR pair exemplify the kinds of characters and the type of work the award was designed to commemorate and received the award last night at the League Managers’ Association Awards.

Manisha Tailor says: “This award epitomises what can be achieved within an inclusive club culture and mentoring. Diversity and understanding of individual differences is key to any high performance environment and I am fortunate to be surrounded by those who are truly committed to ensuring that you will be treated on merit and in the same manner as anybody else.”

Chris Ramsey says: “It is important to have diverse thinking within your leadership and we are fortunate to have a board, a CEO in Lee Hoos, a Director of Football in Les Ferdinand and an Academy Director in Alex Carroll, who actively promote diversity throughout the club while ensuring that it is not tokenistic.”

Tony Burnett, Kick It Out CEO says: “For this award, we wanted to identify people who shared our mission at Kick It Out, of helping to drive positive and inclusive change in football. Together, Manisha and Chris have not only led the way in identifying diverse talent but have also shown determination to succeed in providing opportunities for underrepresented groups in football. We’d like to congratulate Manisha and Chris and thank them both for their hard work.”