Blyth Spartans, Dulwich Hamlet, Lewes and Marine have all been selected to host special ‘Season of Action’ fixtures as Kick It Out continues its yearly link-up with Non League Day on Saturday (6 September).
For the third season running, Kick It Out and Non League Day are raising awareness of the importance of promoting equality and challenging all aspects of discrimination at all levels of the game.
This year, the activities will see the added support of the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) and its ‘Fans for Diversity’ initiative which is run in partnership with Kick It Out.
The dedicated matches see both Blyth face Buxton, and Marine welcome FC United of Manchester in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, and two Ryman Premier League duals between Dulwich and Hampton and Richmond Borough, and Lewes and Wingate and Finchley.
All of the players for these teams will wear Kick It Out and ‘Fans for Diversity’ t-shirts during the pre-match warm-up, and fans in attendance are going to be presented with anti-discrimination materials such as flags, badges, stickers and wristbands.
Special arrangements have also been made by the ‘Fans for Diversity’ initiative to provide funding for the disability team of Wingate to travel down to face their Lewes counterparts on the pitch at the Dripping Pan prior to the seniors.
In addition, Dulwich are giving fans the chance to ‘Pay What You Like’, Blyth running a ‘Green and White Day’ to get all their supporters in club colours, and Marine will continue their 120 year anniversary celebrations.
“It’s fantastic to be a part of the ‘Season of Action’,” said Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade. “I believe non-league is real football – it’s honest, it’s passionate and it’s a great place to spread the word of Kick It Out and the work it does.
“From the community side it is important that we lead from the front because Blyth is a small town and we are the figurehead for the people. We have policies in place where we do not accept discriminatory incidents at all.”
Sean Macleod, Mental Wellbeing Manager at Lewes, commented: “I hope that Non League Day will show the supporters of Lewes and Wingate and Finchley that while we all have our own difficulties we are able to be play an active role in society.
“We are so proud that Kick It Out, the FSF and clubs like Lewes and Wingate and Finchley are taking a lead on supporting people with disabilities and making a stand against the stigmas associated with them.”
Barry Lenton, Community Officer at Marine, said: “It’s a real honour and privilege that we have been asked to promote Kick It Out along with fellow Evo-Stik club Blyth Spartans and other non league sides Lewes and Dulwich Hamlet.
“As Community Officer, I am particularly pleased to see that Kick It Out will be playing an active role on the day with stickers and badges being handed out by our supporters’ club, the Marine Supporters Association, on its behalf.”
Mishi Morath, Dulwich’s Committee Member for Community Development, said: “Dulwich aims to be a beacon for the community and it is important that we show that there is no place for discrimination in football and in the wider world as well.
“Kick It Out sends out an equally important message that racism and discrimination are not welcome in the game and we’re proud to support the ‘Season of Action’ initiative for our game against Hampton and Richmond Borough.”
If you’re attending a fixture this Non League Day, please send us a picture of your view of the game via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using our newly-developed hashtag – #MyMatchdayView.