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Monday, April 29, 2013

JBG? proud to learn of award nomination.



Award Entered: Best New Project.

Parent Organisation:  Just a Ball Game ?

Project Host Nation:   United Kingdom

 Overview of Project:
 Attending sport events as supporters and players we became disturbed by the bullying, racist chants and homophobia in existence. Following our research, it was demonstrated that there is bullying in many sports. This was not isolated to one sport but appeared more extensive in football where it had escalated in recent times. Much abuse is seen as 'soft' or 'mild' attacks, being a bit of banter with no harm or hatred behind it according to the researched offenders. However these constant negatives around needed to be addressed. We began delivering an education pack to help all tackle these issues. Our delivery is centered on the belief that everyone has a responsibility to become part of the solution, helping to change mind sets and to dispel common myths that cause the stigma in the society. The reach of our project had to connect across that diverse range of thinkers by working with local community groups to counter act the hurtful actions and provide motivational initiatives that show the better side of sport. We encouraged young volunteers to be the focus and drivers of good communication skills and engaged a socially inclusive branding called Just a Ball Game?


 KIERON BRADY former Sunderland player and now equality Expert at CICI.

 Welcome to our new JBG? Patron  ex-Sunderland and Republic of Ireland u21 International Kieron Brady.

Although born in Glasgow,Kieron represented the u21 Republic of Ireland side at international level, and made total of four appearances in the green jersey .
He made his Sunderland debut coming on as a substitute for in a 3-1 win against Plymouth Argyle at Roker Park on 18 November 1989. Brady's full debut came in a 2-2 draw with Port Vale again at Roker Park on 30 December 1989. His first goal, a spectacular overhead kick, for Sunderland came in a man of the match performance against West Ham in a 4-3 victory at Roker Park on 24 March 1990, Brady went on to score his only other goal of that season seven days later in a 1-0 away victory at Valley Parade against Bradford City claiming a crucial 3 points as Sunderland went on to win promotion.
Although Brady only managed to make 40 appearances for Sunderland his contribution still sticks in the memory of fans lucky enough to see him play and he remains a cult hero among Sunderland fans who continue to marvel at just what a player he could have become but for a cruel career ending injury.Sadly the injury and after complaints of leg pains ultimately forced Brady to retire from the game in 1993, at  the age of just 22.

Kieron now runs the Celebrate Identity Challenge Intolerance Equality and Diversity training group which educates around the areas of racism, religious intolerance and other forms of discrimination. He has also become the first footballer to become a Patron of a Gay Pride, joining Peter Tatchell as Patron of Sunderland Gay Pride.

Find out more about CICI here:


 Watch Kieron's skills in this video highlights clip from 1990.

more on our website:


                                                       OUR NEW WEBSITE IS NOW UP AND RUNNING.

         You can find us and check out our information, news, patrons, resources,downloads by visiting:


                                                  Many thanks, from the Just A Ball Game? team.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

from OUTSPORTS website Just A Ball Game? fights homophobia in English soccer.

Just A Ball Game? fights homophobia in English soccer

By Outsports on Apr 24 2013, 6:46

Michael Regan

LGBT rights group focuses on one of the most homophobic corners of professional sports.


By Lindsay England

For the past 15 months we at Just a Ball Game? (JBG?) have been overwhelmed with enquiries to our campaigns organisation. And, it is only now while checking back on our workload to submit this round up for LGBT people and LGBT friendly supporters of our work that we have noticed just how many 'WORLD FIRSTS' there have been in what we do.

Aside from attending and featuring as guests or panelists in many conferences and meetings, replying to numerous press and media interviews and enquiries,and of course partaking in UK Pride events, we have also been partners to the Bournemouth University (BU) research into Homophobia in Sport, and delivery partners to the 'TIME FOR CHANGE-NOW! Anti-Homophobia in Sport Exhibition, which we now also incorporate as part of what we showcase as our campaign work.

Our campaign work has existed for some 8 years now and has totally relied upon the good will of unpaid volunteers and small donations to enable where we are now with 2 ongoing campaigns "THINK BEFORE YOU CHANT!" and "TIME FOR CHANGE-NOW!" to be established.

Added too this a TEMPLATE GUIDE for fans and clubs was produced and is as we speak being fully endorsed by the TUC (Trade Union Congress) and the research project we partnered in with BU will be made public in april 2013.

We have also recently finally managed to acquire a small amount of grant funding from Awards For All to cover the cost of building a new more accessible website at (which will go live in a couple of weeks) and produce resources which will be available for anyone to buy.

If we rewind for a moment we go back to a world first of teaming up with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) when we enlisted Carling Cup Finalists 2013, Bradford City on board once again and arranged for one of their home games to be leafleted with pro-gay and anti-homophobia literature, while attending the match as guests of the club.

Continuing with our work with clubs we engaged with AFC Rushden and Diamonds and have completed the following with them:

    Assisted in the production of their Football for All Policy document.
    Launched the "Think Before You Chant!" campaign.
    The club signed the Government 'Sports Charter' against Homophobia and transphobia.
    We held 2 event days on match days as match ball sponsors, and ad boards are placed pitch side for JBG?
    Finally we secured a deal where in the summer close season we will again deliver event days, and as a thank you the club have allowed us (another world first) to be KIT Sponsors for the AFC R&D Ladies team for next season 2013/14.

At the same time we continued to work closely with Hyde FC and have completed the following with them:

    Club have put messages on their website and on their ground rules and regs to outlaw any homophobia.
    They advertise this with match day tannoy announcements.
    The programme for a game has a permanent JBG? flyer advert, and there are often features of our work here and on the club official and fans websites.
    The club became the first in the world to have our JBG? logo banner displayed pitch side,these have now been replaced with more permanent advertising boards for JBG?
    We partnered the club with being match ball sponsors for 4 games.
    Have held a number of event days one being on WORLD AIDS DAY 2012, and support the clubs holiday season kids football camps.
    We have also recently helped the club deliver their recently required Security and Steward training by hosting talks on LGBT equality and diversity, and how to deal with any homophobia from fans on a match day.

Our exhibition delivery has seen us now cover 5 shows 1 in England and 1 in Scotland, the most prominent being a 3 day stint at the National Football Museum which is now based in Manchester,UK.

Our patrons listing over the past 12 months see us have figureheads our campaign work in the following, Iain Scott-owner of Taurus Bar, Maria Exall-CWU and TUC LGBT committee, Angela Eagle MP,Claire Harvey-GB Sitting Volleyball team captain, and US indie rock stars GOSSIP.

This impressive list has been added to just this week when we now are proud to announce that Manchester City Ladies FC goalkeeper Andie Worrall has agreed to become a patron. Added to this Andie as the first 'OUT LESBIAN' still playing the game in the UK and she will become our first elite player, LGBT FOOTBALL ROLE MODEL.

twitter: @justaballgame

You can reach Lindsay at

Thursday, April 18, 2013

WHAT'S THE SCORE? Bournemouth Uni research Homophobia in Sport.

We at Just a Ball Game? are delighted to see the results from Bournemouth University students who have recentlyresearched in to the wide scale homophobia in sport.
These statistics will help provide even more hard evidence that both sport governing bodies and education
establishments need to step up their commitment into dealing with serious issues which affect the lives of many LGBT people throughout the UK.
The findings confirm that sport should be for everyone, but very often LGBT people are either excluded if they are ‘out’or are pressured in to staying safe in the closet and possibly then not  fulfilling their true potential.

The shocking statistics show that teachers and tutors are not taking any LGBT issues or homophobia seriously and that that 57% of those in education  hear anti-gay language everyday followed by a further 26% hearing homophobia 2 to 3 times weekly are not surprising but are totally unacceptable.
Just a Ball Game? will continue to build on a much needed and welcoming gay/straight alliance through grass roots football, while the professional game and it’s governing bodies pay only lip service to those who need  support the most and also starve proven worthwhile campaigns groups of much needed funding to deliver core values of SAFETY-INCLUSION-RESPECT.
Follow the link here for the report and more documentation: