BHM event at Oaklands Park

Black History Month celebrations at Gloucestershire FA

As Black History Month draws to a close, we reflect on the event hosted by GFA earlier in the month.

As part of our celebrations, Gloucestershire FA held a Black History Month event at Oaklands Park on Wednesday 18
th October 2023. The event brought together volunteers from clubs, leagues and match officials across Gloucestershire with the theme of ‘Celebrating Success and Raising Awareness’. 


The aim of this event was to provide a basic insight into the roles of refereeing and coaching and providing those in attendance with ways of how they could get involved in football. 


The event started with our Equality & Workforce Development Manager, Sam Myatt, delivering a session around getting into refereeing. Attendees were tested on their knowledge of the Laws of the Game and were given information on how to access courses and how to climb the refereeing ladder to reach the higher levels of the game. 


Gloucestershire FA’s Referee Mental Health Champion, Gerry Witcombe, then gave a short speech about his role and the support that he offers to Gloucestershire referees. We also highlighted the new FA Referee Strategy for 2023-2026 which commits to making referees more inclusive by increasing the number of female referees and referees from under-represented ethnicities by 50%.


Following a short break, Benson Miyoba, one of The FA’s Community Champions, provided attendees with an overview of the coaching pathway available via England Learning. In addition to the coaching pathway, Benson also delivered an introduction to the new FA workshop ‘Stepping over the Sidelines’. 


Attendees included members of Gloucestershire FA’s Inclusion and Advisory Group (IAG) and Board of Directors and staff. They were then given the opportunity to network with each other prior to the session finishing. 


Some of the attendees also represented Gloucestershire at The FA’s National Black History Month which was held at St Georges’ Park later in October.


         BHM event at SGPBHM event at SGPBHM event at SGP


Though Black History Month is coming to a close, it is essential that we continue to value Black contributions all year round as we strive to make football more inclusive in our County. GFA would like to thank all those who attended our event at Oaklands Park - we hope you enjoyed the evening.


I believe it is very important that we celebrate the Black people who are doing inspirational things to pave the way for others. What would be even greater is if that could be celebrated all year round, as the achievements of Black people are endless and deserve the recognition so they can inspire others.” - Derek Scale 


Read our series of interviews with inspirational Black figures from around Gloucestershire football: Patrick Williams | OJ Olagunju | Errol Thompson | Derek Scale