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Exeter City aiming to tackle prejudice with One Game, One Community match

By GRichardson  |  Posted: February 11, 2013

Jamie Vittles, left, and the Exeter City Community Trust launch the Futsal Education Scholarship Program that will see youngsterrs gaining an education by studying at St James Park

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Promoting mutual respect and inclusion will be the goal for Exeter City as they take on Accrington Stanley.

Law firm Kitsons is joining forces with the club’s Football in the Community Trust to host a One Game, One Community themed match on Friday, February 15.

Coinciding with the Grecians’ home game, the evening will be hosted by Mark Tyler, who will be joined by three members of Paralympics GB’s blind football team, Robin Williams, Keryn Seal and Dan James.

One Game, One Community is a Football League backed initiative aimed at making the sport inclusive for all, regardless of race, creed, religion, colour, gender, sexual orientation or mental or physical disability. This season Exeter City are focusing on disability not being a barrier to watching or playing.

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The Accrington game is also the club’s annual designated Football v Homophobia match.

James Vittles, the club’s football in the community manager, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event as social inclusion is something we here at Exeter City care passionately about and our own Football in the Community initiatives reflect this approach.

“The achievements of the GB Blind Football Team over the years have been nothing short of inspirational and we are very pleased to welcome them to St James’s Park.”

Kitsons managing partner James Cross said: “We are proud to be associated with the Football in the Community Trust and supporting the One Game, One Community initiative.

“The event will bring business figures from across the region together to meet three of the GB Blind Football Paralympics Team and gain an insight into the excellent work of the trust, which aims to engage with individuals, through the power of football, and provide them with the opportunity to participate in enjoyable educational, health and sports based activities regardless of background.”

Backed by the Supporters’ Trust, City’s One Game, One Community group is once again teaming up with the Devon Lions, the local gay friendly football side, and the Justin Campaign to help counter homophobic prejudice in the game.

Welcoming the initiative, Guillem Bauza, the club’s One Game, One Community ambassador, said: “I am very happy to support Exeter City in saying no to homophobia in football. Players and supporters should be free to be themselves. Our goal must be mutual respect.”

In recognition of Exeter City’s work on equality and diversity, the club has been chosen as a regional host for one of the national Kick It Out campaign’s Raise Your Game workshops.

The event at the University of Exeter from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday, February 24, will provide a free opportunity for aspiring coaches, managers and administrators to develop their skills.

Iffy Onuora, former Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United and Swindon Town striker, will be on hand to deliver a coaching masterclass. The former Ethiopia national team manager, now working for the Professional Footballers’ Association, will be joined by Kick It Out and Exeter City representatives.

Anyone interested in helping the One Game, One Community group can email kickitout@exetercityfc.co.uk.

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