Premier League Academies from across the country joined forces to celebrate the messages of equality and inclusion as they gave their support towards the third Academy Awareness Weekend.

Taking place between 6-8 April, the weekend recognised the partnership between Kick It Out and the Premier League through the #EqualityInspires initiative, which sees equality and diversity workshops delivered to all participants involved with the league’s Academy Programme.

Over the course of three days, more than 70 games were played in Premier League Academies across the country in recognition of the importance of equality and inclusion in football.

The weekend also saw the launch of the updated Players App, which enables players to report any discrimination they see, hear or witness confidentially.

Several clubs marked the weekend with special activities, with players, coaches and referees donning the iconic Kick It Out t-shirts in support. Representatives from the Premier League and Kick It Out joined clubs to promote #EqualityInspires to those in attendance.

The weekend started with Liverpool’s Under-23s hosting Arsenal on Friday (6 April) evening at Prenton Park. In a tightly contested affair, both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils as the visitors grabbed an injury-time equaliser as the match finished 1-1.

Saturday morning saw a hosts of Academies including Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Manchester United with the following day seeing the likes of Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford and West Ham United hosting games featuring a number of age categories.

Troy Townsend, Education Manager at Kick It Out, was delighted with how clubs engaged with the messages of #EqualityInspires throughout the weekend.

“The Academy Awareness Weekend gave Kick It Out and the Premier League the opportunity to display its commitment to developing the future generations of footballers to become more socially aware and ensure they promote inclusion to all.

“Over the weekend I saw players, club staff, parents and guardians all endorsing the messages of equality and inclusion – which fills me with great satisfaction as we move forward with #EqualityInspires workshops in the future.

“I would also like to say a huge thanks to all the clubs for making the weekend such a success and continuing to support Kick It Out in allowing the organisation to educate, support, challenge, advise and raise awareness.”