Meet the 12 Game Changers who Kick It Out are helping to become the future leaders of football.


Name: Danny Gallagher

Bio:

"I am 19 years old and I currently work as an activity leader for DASH, an organisation that encourages people with disabilities to reach their full potential and to access the community through sport and leisure activities. I am extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion and how football can engage and create positive social change for minority groups. Currently, I coach within youth football, engaging 15 young people from a primarily BAME background every week alongside coaching a PAN disability Football team.

"As of September 2019, I will be embarking on a new adventure by enrolling as a Sport Psychology student at Brunel University. As an advocate for mental health, disability and diversity in football, I hope to use my experiences with my studies to combine my passion for both football and psychology.

"I am delighted to be given this unique opportunity to become a Game Changer that will provide me with new learning opportunities to progress, grow and work alongside like-minded people, as we strive for diversity and inclusion within football and society."


Name: Salma Mahamud

Bio: "I am a sports enthusiast with hopes to one day become a sports psychologist. I have a particular interest in football and currently play for Brentford WFC. A massive goal of mine is to one day play in the Women’s Super League (WSL).

"I am currently in year 13 studying Psychology, Sociology and History at A Level.

"Being involved in Kick It Out’s activities is something I wanted to do for many reasons. I have always had such high respect for the work done by Kick It Out to exclude racism and discrimination from the beautiful game. One of the main reasons I feel so strongly about this cause is due to my personal experiences of racism in football. My aim is to do whatever it takes to ensure that no one must experience what I and unfortunately many others have had to, to make sure that football is enjoyed by everyone regardless of their differences."


Name: Miranda Cui

Bio: "My name is Miranda Cui ,who was born in August 1st 1999. I am a 20-year-old Sports Journalism student of University of The Arts London and originally from China. Working in the football industry is my dream. As the process of globalisation keeps developing, I've found that the promotion of equality and respect has become requisite in the present sports field as well. 

"It will be wonderful if I can learn more about the influence and importance of diversity and equality in this industry in my early age, and I believe Kick It Out’s activities will help me to receive what I need. In the future, I hope football, as a highly-focused sport, can be responsible for the whole society to reduce the bias about different cultures, colours, and backgrounds."


Name: Georgia Stevens

Bio: "I am a 19-year-old semi-professional footballer for Fylde Women FC. Alongside pursuing a career in football, I’m currently studying Multimedia Sports Journalism at UCFB Etihad Campus.  

"Football is an enormous part of my life and something which occupies most of my time. I hope to help change the sport for better so all young people are offered the opportunities it brings.

"I’m currently the Head of Women’s Media at Fylde Women FC, meaning that pretty much anything you see online about them is from myself. It’s testing sometimes, but incredibly rewarding, especially seeing our fan interaction increase. I have also completed work experience with Sky Sports News which is something I hope to pursue again in future.

"I am extremely motivated to help change football from the inside out. I believe it can be a safer and more inclusive space and that is something which I hope to help to achieve."


Name: Megan Hussey

Bio: "I played football for local teams from the age of 6 until 16. This year, I graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a first class degree in English with Media, focusing on sport media in my final year. As part of my degree, I wrote a 12,000 word dissertation on the extent of Islamophobia directed towards Muslim football players in English professional football through social media. Although I was delighted with the grade, this research project opened my eyes to the darker sides of the game.

"Hoping to get involved with Kick It Out, I checked their Twitter page and noticed the Game Changers programme and I knew I had to apply. I would love a career in sports journalism, helping change the face of the industry from being white and male-dominated. I believe sports media has a huge platform to bring attention to marginalised groups within football and should help educate wider society, not encourage discrimination like it has done in the past."


Name: Mayowa Quadri

Bio: "I'm a multi-faceted individual with a love for football including media, business and off the field operations. I'm currently involved in sports through my podcasts 'Stoppage Time TV' and 'Full-Time Podcast', alongside being a keen writer for ‘Versus’.

"Iwanted to be involved in Kick It Out’s activities as their ethos and mission is aligned to my personal values and aims for football. I also believe I can aid change within the industry and help those coming after me with the help of my experiences with Kick It Out.

"I have great aspirations for a career in football. I see himself being one of many future leaders/directors from BAME backgrounds on boards, whether it be at the Premier League, the FA or at a football club. I also see myself as a future broadcaster/voice within football and hope to help others from similar backgrounds."


Name: Thomas Smith

Bio: "I am a third year Football Journalism student at the University of Derby who has experience covering matches and events across the football pyramid within both the men’s and women’s game.

"I wanted to be involved with Kick It Out’s activities as it provides a platform to work in conjunction with an organisation at the forefront of tackling discrimination. The opportunity will serve to develop my ability to expose discrimination and inequality, and share good practices of inclusion within football.

"My aspirations are to work in sports media, but what has evolved since beginning my degree course is my desire and awareness to cover marginalised and discriminated groups or individuals, who are regularly under represented by the media."


Name: Zuleikha Chikh

Bio:

"I am a MSc Sport Business Management (Hons) student passionate about sport, youth leadership and international development. I thrive off helping other people become their best self so that they can go on to inspire others. I am the Sports Activator and Chair of UCLan Women’s Futsal Club. I have a strong interest in the power of building communities, social cohesion and social integration of minority groups to help rebuild their lives. Alongside my studies, I coach for the Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre, I'm a candidate on the FA University Women’s Leadership Programme 2019/2020 and I'm a member of British Universities and Colleges Sport Student Management Group.

Volunteering in sport has helped me find my passion and deliver sport leadership projects on an international level in Morocco and Greece whilst using my additional language skills. I am currently studying at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

"I wanted to get involved with Kick It Out because their idea to make football a better place aligns with how I want to help others grow and make the game accessible for others. Being a Game Changer will give me an opportunity to meet like-minded people in the football industry and broaden my network. My future aspirations for football and equality are to see more Asian females in leadership roles and pursung careers in the football industry."


Name: Karan Singh Ruprah

Bio: "I graduated from the University of Westminster with a Business Management degree in 2017 and have recently started to independently study for my ACA qualification.


"After University I was able to get back involved into grassroots football in the form of coaching at West London Youth FC in Feltham. I started to coach 4-6 year olds with my younger brother in 2018 for nine months, which gave me the relevant experience and confidence that I could gain my FA level 1 certificate in coaching. After gaining this qualification I chose to complete the FA level 1 goalkeeping course in the summer of 2019 in order to prepare for my first season of coaching my team.

"I want to be involved with Kick it Out as it is an organisation that has fought to get rid of discrimination at all levels for over 25 years and I would like to be a part of that fight. My aspiration for the future in football is that the demographics of society in the UK is finally represented from the boardroom level to grassroots."


Name: Ediong Udom

Bio: "I am a passionate individual, originally from Norwich, trying to forge a path in the world of sports business. I am also interested in grassroots football, having written my thesis on its socio-economic benefits and how it can help achieve development. I am a finishing MSc Sports Management student from UCFB, Wembley and I have also volunteered at the London FA, as part of their youth council. 

"I have recently joined Koi Sports CIC as a Freelance Businesses Development manager, where I look to help drive financial investment into grassroots sports. In return, we require grassroots sports club to dedicate to achieving a series of social objectives, for example creating a women's football team or increasing the number of BAME participants at their club. 

"I wanted to be a part of the Game Changers programme as it further strengthens my relationship with Kick it Out after they honoured me with being a part of their Next 25 campaign. Through our association, I have a greater understanding of the importance of equality and diversity, not only in football, but in the world we live in. Through Kick it Out's message, everyone will be given ample opportunity to fulfil their potential, which will allow for a more socially-cohesive world.

"For now, I am dedicated to Koi Sports CIC's mission to enable grassroots sports opportunities for all in Norwich. As my knowledge of the grassroots game and commercial business activity grows I want to transfer my skills onto the national stage. I aspire to one day to be a key decision-maker for influential organisations such as The FA, Nike and The Premier League."


Name: Darnelle Morgan-Johnson

Bio: "My name is Darnelle, I am currently an Events and Content intern at the NBA alongside my full-time job I work as a Family Liaison Officer at West Ham United.

"I am on a quest to positively impact the sports industry, starting within my local community. I have faced various adversities within my career and have been surrounded by those who have encountered injustice in football.  

"Kick it out is an established organisation for the right reasons; they stand for something which I believe is important. I also wanted to be involved in the programme as I believe it will enhance my current skill set and open my mind, giving me the tools and understanding of how to help make change. The programme also allows me to collaborate with people from the industry and young professionals.

"I hope I will impact the football industry in a positive light, helping change the narrative for all."


Name: Charlie Dawson

Bio: "I’ve just finished my MSc in Football coaching and Analysis at UCFB, after being part of the Kick it out Next 25 scholarship initiative, which concluded with a dissertation on the experiences of BAME coaches in the English game. That followed my BSc in psychology at LSBU, where I looked at the development of semi-professional footballers. 

"I’ve worked for a football league club as a first-team scout, held multiple positions in media production and content creation, and have worked with at-risk groups and disability footballers with various footballing foundations. 

"I believe football is a brilliant leveller, and that it can allow everyone to mix and interact irrespective of their differences. Kick It Out are the champions of a fair and inclusive game. They give a voice to those that need it and can influence change at the highest level. Working with Kick It Out means that everyone has the opportunity to be involved in the game.

"I believe football reflects the best and worst aspects of society and can be used as a tool to promote positive change in the world."