Colors: Yellow Color

Aston Villa beat Liverpool 2-1 at Villa Park to win the FA Youth Cup for the fourth time after making a strong start to the game and taking an early lead when Ben Chrisene turned home a cutback.

Brad Young converted a penalty soon after to make it 2-0, before Villa twice hit the post. A Melkamu Frauendorf volley deflected in off Seb Revan in the closing stages but Villa held firm to win the FA Youth Cup for the first time since 2002.

Six of the players in Villa's side also started against Liverpool's first team in the 4-1 FA Cup defeat in January after a Covid-19 outbreak had ruled out the club's senior players. The home side won their fourth FA Youth Cup and the first since 2002. That experience showed during the early stages as a team which had scored 26 goals in five ties ran rings around opposition who had conceded only three times – and never more than twice – on their way to the final.

On social media, one of the winning heroes, Aaron Ramsey, wrote: "It's everything we dreamed of," whilst on the club’s @AVFCOfficial twitter account it simply said: ‘The ??????’ with a picture of the winning team celebrating their victory.

Joint manager Sean Verity said: "The club has a totally different feel about it which is down to the owners. We had Christian Purslow shouting the lads on and when you've got that from the top... This club is going places."

May 25 marked the first anniversary of the tragic murder of George Floyd in the USA.

This terrible event resulted in a global groundswell of anger, frustration and grief. Followed by contemplation, determination and then action.

On this day, one year on, UK Athletics once again reaffirms its commitment to zero tolerance of racism and all forms of discrimination.

In the weeks and months following 25 May 2020 UKA launched its Let’s Talk about Race Programme which led to 17 separate focus group sessions taking place throughout the summer, covering many aspects of UKA’s work and its impact on race.   The establishment of the RACEquality Network was a key outcome from these discussions.

The RACEquality Network monitors the outcomes decided within the “Let’s Talk about Race” programme and these are captured within the UKA Diversity Action Plan 2021-2024.  The network also supports race, religion and belief advocates with their initiatives as well as the Race at Work Charter commitment. 

However, these are not just the commitments of those individuals who are members of the RACEquality network. They are commitments that UKA has made as an organisation and will continue to deliver against.

The athletics family spoke loudly last year and UKA listened. Action was taken and we have continued with this commitment most recently by further increasing the diversity of our board, and we will continue to ensure we are representative of the sport and athletes we serve.

We would be delighted to hear from anyone else who wishes to work with and be a part of our newly formed RACEquality network.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel has announced it is developing a Race Report Card. The Panel will use the Race Report Card to encourage and measure National Governing Bodies of Sport and professional sports clubs against progress for inclusion of Black communities at all levels in their organisations.

The Race Report Card will play an integral role in holding sporting organisations to account by monitoring progress, with the Panel advising organisations and showcasing good practice demonstrated throughout the sector to increase opportunities for Black communities. One of the Panel’s key goals is to keep up the momentum with a sustained commitment rather than a knee jerk response, that included many positive statements announced last year after George Floyd’s death and the public outcry on the systemic racism that disadvantages Black communities across the country.

The Race Report Card, which will be developed over the Summer of 2021, will be distributed to senior representatives from National Governing Bodies of Sport and professional sports clubs once finalised and will require statements and evidence amounting to the following:

1.    Policies, strategies, and action plans that were put into place after the Black Lives Matter protests of Summer 2020, and how these were for the benefit of Black communities in particular;

2.    The effectiveness of these policies, strategies, and action plans. Importantly, this will involve examining the workforce statistics to monitor diverse appointments of those in decision making roles (professional coaches, middle management, senior leadership, Chief Executives and Board members);

3.    Examining ethnically diverse representation of national sports teams across different levels, leagues, competitions etc.

After receiving the required information via collation of digital survey results, the Panel will analyse the data and evidence, with reports on findings expected at a later date. By collecting, analysing and reporting on this data, the Panel is looking to showcase best practice and positive impacts made within the sector but also highlight areas for improvement. A year after the inequalities faced by Black communities came to the fore in all areas of society, and across the world, the Panel is hoping to see real evidenced change and effort towards improving experiences within the sport sector.

Sporting Equals devised the Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel as a broad response to the increasing instances of racism and the Black Lives Matter protests of Summer 2020. The Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel consists of a group of esteemed individuals dedicated to all sport, passionate about race equality and determined to create more opportunities to Black communities throughout the sport sector.

On the announcement of the Race Report Card, Densign White MBE, Chair of the Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel commented: “The societal disadvantages faced by Black communities are evident, and put more into focus, a year after the tragic death of George Floyd.

“I am pleased to announce that we are developing a Race Report Card that will score the progress made by sports organisations on policy and strategy, workforce profile and national team representation. The Race Report Card will actively hold sporting organisations to account, specifically looking into what has been done to improve inclusion and representation at all levels.

“The Race Report card is a conclusive assessment of recruitment of ethnically diverse people in the sport sector and considers composition assessed by the racial makeup of players, coaches, management and leadership in sports organisations.  I am proud of the progress the Panel has made in such a short period of time and grateful to Sporting Equals for founding the Panel and aiding with the development of this Race Report Card.”

Maggie Alphonsi MBE, Panel member and a former Rugby Union England International and Captain, said: “I got involved with the Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel because I wanted to ensure that the sport sector in the UK did more to support the inclusion of Black communities at all levels, particularly after the statements of intent from sporting organisations following the tragic death of George Floyd.

“I want to see greater representation not only at the national level, but also at a local or grassroots level where there are many key decision-making roles on Boards and Committees. It is important that we see greater diversity here to ensure the opportunities are available at every level within the leadership pathway. The Race Report Card will play a key role in measuring positive change and ensure that organisations stay focussed when it comes to race equality.”

The Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel meets regularly throughout the year and will share results and analysis from the Report Card, as well as highlight good practice via Sporting Equals.

 

A new ‘Football Rebooted’ campaign has been launched today by the UK’s leading smart energy supplier, Utilita, and former England and Premier League goalkeeper, David James MBE. The campaign has been created to help the nation recycle at least one million pairs of ‘pre-played’ football boots and astro boots, saving families a small fortune, as well as 136,000 tonnes of carbon – the same as taking 7,000 cars off the road for a year, or turning the energy off in one million medium-sized houses for a week.

The ‘donate and claim’ campaign, enables anyone with spare football boots or astro boots to request a freepost ‘boot bag’ to donate their boots, after which their boots will appear at one of many claim stations that will pop up in parks, training grounds, and at some of the UK’s largest football clubs. Premium pairs of the ‘most wanted’ retro boots and former and current players’ boots and other items will also be in the mix, giving anyone a chance to come along and grab a pair to be proud of.  

The campaign is strategically designed to put an aspirational spin on a mechanic that will get good boots through to families struggling to afford new ones, after Utilita’s State of Play report revealed that out of the 74 percent of families who had been impacted financially by the pandemic, 18 percent won’t be able to send their kids back to grassroots football as they can’t afford boots and other items such as goalie gloves and shin pads. 

Campaign ambassador and keen environmentalist, David James, and the Utilita team held focus groups with families, which revealed the barriers to boots finding new homes – the biggest being pride. The donate and claim mechanic avoids families needing to accept charity from people they know, and makes claiming a new pair an aspirational activity, whereby people are impacting the environment, too.  

 

Campaign ambassador, David James MBE, comments on why the campaign is so important: “Right now, there are millions of pairs of football boots that people have grown out of or replaced, and we need to make sure they don’t end up in landfill. Getting these boots replayed through Utilita’s Football Rebooted campaign will not only save players a few quid but will also act as an important reminder about the power of upcycling and reusing items that still have a lot of life left in them.” 

 

Bill Bullen, founder of Utilita - the only energy company created to help households use and waste less energy - comments on why Utilita has created the Football Rebooted campaign saying: “Most consumers are becoming more thoughtful about how their choices impact the environment, but sometimes life gets in the way of making the right choice. That’s why we have created Football Rebooted, which makes recycling football boots with plenty of life left in them, really easy. 

“The campaign has been shaped by grassroots football players, coaches and parents, so uses carbon-saving examples that really resonate with this audience - home energy usage and taking cars off the road. It’s been incredibly encouraging to see football players as young as six years old talk passionately about the importance of protecting the environment.”

Premier League and EFL clubs across the UK, including Portsmouth, Southampton, Derby County and Leeds United, have already signed up to donate the football boots worn by their academy players, while first-team players have also donated their own boots in the interests of the environment. As part of the new campaign, schools can request boots be sent to them for children who they identify as needing football boots to enable them to play in or outside of school. 

 

English Schools' FA (ESFA) Chairman, Phil Harding, said: "The last 12 months have been very difficult for families, teams, players and schools alike and, as the National Governing Body for Schools' Football, the ESFA welcome any campaign to help ensure children have every opportunity to take part in a sport that they are passionate about, but that is also so beneficial for both their physical and mental health. The Football Rebooted campaign not only has a great environmental message but is also working towards helping children to be active, participate and enjoy school sport." 

The British & Irish Lions and SA Rugby have announced Laureus Sport for Good as Global Charity Partner of the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series.

Since it was launched by Nelson Mandela in 2000, the vision of Laureus Sport for Good has been to use sport as a powerful, accessible and cost-effective tool to help children and young people overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage in their lives.

As the first ever Lions Series Global Charity Partner, Laureus Sport for Good will raise funds to support rugby-based community sports programmes in Britain & Ireland, South Africa and Japan which tackle social issues facing young people.

The one-year partnership, which will dovetail the existing official charities of the Lions and SA Rugby, sees both organisations support the charity’s important work by allowing Laureus to utilise its digital platforms for promotional purposes, as well as access to the Lions and Springbok squads, Lions legends and 2021 Tour memorabilia for fundraising.

Laureus Sport for Good currently supports more than 200 programmes in over 40 countries that use the power of sport to transform lives. Every programme which Laureus supports addresses at least one of the following six social issues, which are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

• Health: Enhancing mental wellbeing and encouraging healthy behaviour change
• Education: Increased access to and completion of education
• Women and Girls: Promoting equality, empowerment and safety
• Employability: Developing skills and creating pathways to employment
• Inclusive Society: Creating communities which embrace ethnic, cultural and physical difference
• Peaceful Society: Resolving conflict, promoting community peacebuilding and creating safe spaces

Ben Calveley, Managing Director for The British & Irish Lions, said: “We are thrilled to confirm our partnership with Laureus Sport for Good – one of the most effective and recognised charitable organisations in the world.

“Like Nelson Mandela, we believe that sport has the power to change the world, and we look forward to working with them to highlight the important work they do and help make a difference.”

South Africa Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, commented: "We have a long-standing and wonderful relationship with Laureus, and we're very proud of what they have achieved over the years as their roots are firmly here in South Africa. "Locally, our focus will be on two key initiatives - the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players Fund, the Official Charity of the Springboks who support players that have sustained disabling and life changing head, neck or spinal cord injuries while participating in rugby, as well as our Women’s Rugby Legacy programme, which aims to create a sustainable structure and action plan with how we plan to uplift women’s rugby. We are living in extraordinary times, but we are excited to take hands with Laureus and work with them to make a difference in the lives of so many of our countrymen and women - and especially younger people - who face different challenges every day."

Sean Fitzpatrick, Chair of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “A Lions Tour is up there at the pinnacle of rugby, both for players from Britain and Ireland, and those players from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Each Series consists of some of the toughest and most rewarding rugby matches you can take part in.

“At Laureus Sport for Good, we are proud to become the first ever Global Charity Partner of a Lions Series, and we look forward to working with The British & Irish Lions, SA Rugby and partners to support young people facing tough challenges and tackling discrimination in their own lives.

“21 years ago, today, Laureus’ First Patron President Nelson Mandela stood on stage at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards and said ‘Sport has the power to change the world… It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination’. More than two decades on, Mandela’s words ring true and this partnership will bring them to life.”

Over the last 21 years, Laureus Sport for Good has raised more than €150m for the Sport for Development sector and, together with its partners, reached and helped change the lives of more than six million children and young people.

Laureus Sport for Good currently supports over 50 Sport for Development programmes in South Africa, Britain and Ireland, with coverage in all four Home Nations.

The news follows The Lions Charitable Trust’s recent announcement of four new charity partnerships which all have rugby at the heart of what they do: Matt Hampson Foundation, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, The Atlas Foundation and Wooden Spoon.

Former England international, Eniola Aluko has been appointed Los Angeles-based Angel City FC's first sporting director. The former Chelsea and Juventus forward has left her position as Aston Villa's sporting director.

Following her appointment, she said: "This is an incredible opportunity to help write Angel City's first chapter." Angel City are set for their first season in the US National Women's Soccer League in 2022.

She continued: "I have no doubt the club will be a trailblazer, not just in the NWSL and women's soccer, but for sports clubs globally.

Angel City founder and president, Julie Uhrman, said: "As a former player, the club's determination to make an impact both on the field and in the community is something that I fully support, and I can't wait to get started.

“Appointing Eniola Aluko, a world-renowned international soccer player with extensive experience in technical positions, is a landmark moment for us." One of the club's co-founders is actor Natalie Portman, and other founding investors include tennis icons Serena Williams and Billie Jean King, and retired US soccer greats Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach.

Eni won 102 England caps and helped the Lionesses to third place at the 2015 Women's World Cup, as well as playing five times for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

She is England's joint-10th most capped international, scoring 33 goals in 102 senior appearances.