Meet the people who are going to shape the future of football, with the help of Kick It Out.

The group are part of our Game Changers programme, which mentors young people from diverse backgrounds who want a career in football. It is run in partnership with the Premier League and funded by the UEFA Foundation for Children.

The programme aims to identify and create the future leaders of football, inspiring them to bring about positive change in the areas of equality and inclusion. In turn, it is hoped this will help address the underrepresentation of minority groups across the industry.

Each of the 12 participants has been hand-picked because of their potential to be a ‘game changer’ in football.

The first session for the new group took place at the Premier League HQ in central London. It was led by Kick It Out’s education officer, Osei Sankofa, who runs the programme.

Former head teacher Sir Paul Grant, who now works for the Premier League as an education advisor and professional skills mentor, gave a presentation on leadership to the participants. They also heard from the Premier League’s head of education, Martyn Heather, as well as former footballer Dave Rainford, who also works for the Premier League as club support manager.

On the event, Osei said: “We kicked off this new season with our second cohort of Game Changers by hearing from the brilliant Sir Paul Grant about how vital leadership is in creating an environment for success.

“Throughout the course of this programme our Game Changers will gain the kind of insight that we hope will push their talent to even greater heights.”

The group will attend four more seminars as part of the programme, each with its own theme. The group will gain insights and advice in the areas of governance, media and communications and recruitment before the final session on action plans for the future.

More details about the programme can be found here.

Read about one of the programme’s previous success stories: FA Youth Council vice chair, Roya Mehdizadeh.