Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Aneel Javed – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Football

Aneel Javed, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Manager at the English Football League (EFL), shares his insights and experiences in the field of EDI. With a background in grassroots coaching and board membership for Kick it Out, Aneel offers valuable advice for aspiring professionals in the football industry. Let’s delve into his journey and learn more about the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion in football.

How did Aneel start his career in the football industry?

Aneel began as a coach for Preston City Council and went on to work with local schools and the Preston North End Girls’ Centre of Excellence. His experience expanded to include multi-sports delivery and projects in the Preston area. With a passion for helping underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds, Aneel found his way to the EFL.

How did Aneel become an EDI manager at the EFL?

Aneel’s role at the EFL was created in response to racial incidents in football, and his experience in sports development and understanding of relevant legislation made him the ideal candidate. His lived experiences also contribute to his effectiveness in the role.

Was Aneel always interested in EDI?

Aneel found himself naturally gravitating towards EDI due to his personal background and focus on community and grassroots development. Working in professional football presented an exciting opportunity to apply his knowledge and experience in a different context.

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What challenges does Aneel face in his role?

EDI can be a subjective and fast-paced field. Aneel faces new challenges regularly and aims to stay ahead of the curve. Balancing immediate and long-term impact is a constant consideration, as EDI is not just a checklist but an ongoing journey.

Is there an emotional aspect to Aneel’s role?

Dealing with sensitive subjects means there is an emotional component to Aneel’s role. However, he emphasizes the importance of maintaining objectivity and balancing different perspectives to make informed decisions.

Does Aneel act as a liaison between interest groups and EFL clubs?

Aneel’s primary role is to support EFL clubs in their EDI efforts. Interest groups like Kick it Out, Level Playing Field, Stonewall, and MIND offer valuable expertise and resources that contribute to the collective goal of advancing EDI in football.

What does Aneel find most enjoyable about his role?

Bringing about positive changes in the industry and seeing the impact of his work is the most rewarding aspect of Aneel’s job. He appreciates the opportunity to meet and work with passionate individuals in clubs, supporter groups, and the broader football network.

What has been Aneel’s career highlight?

Implementing the Code of Practice throughout EFL clubs and witnessing their progress towards achieving higher standards has been a significant achievement for Aneel. Additionally, the work done to create a more welcoming environment for underrepresented groups and communities in football stands out as a highlight.

Are there any recommended courses or reading materials for aspiring professionals?

Having a strong understanding of legislation and the football industry is crucial. Universities and providers offer courses and training in EDI, but it’s important to also have practical skills in implementing strategies and projects.

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What advice does Aneel have for those hoping to work in the football industry?

Persistence is key when breaking into the football industry due to the high demand for roles. Understanding how the industry operates and gaining that initial foothold can be challenging but ultimately rewarding.

What are Aneel’s future career aspirations?

In the immediate future, Aneel plans to transition into a consultancy role within the football industry while pursuing a Masters degree to further his understanding of the field.

FAQs

1. How did Aneel start working in the football industry?

Aneel started as a coach for Preston City Council and gradually expanded his involvement in grassroots and community football.

2. How did Aneel become an EDI manager at the EFL?

Aneel’s expertise in sports development and understanding of relevant legislation made him the ideal candidate for the EDI role at the EFL.

3. What challenges does Aneel face in his role?

Aneel navigates a subjective and fast-paced field, balancing immediate impact with long-term progress in the ever-changing landscape of EDI in football.

4. What does Aneel find most enjoyable about his role?

Aneel is motivated by effecting positive change within the football industry and working with passionate individuals who make a difference in their communities.

Summary

Aneel Javed, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Manager at the English Football League (EFL), shares his experiences and insights in promoting EDI in football. Aneel’s journey emphasizes the importance of grassroots involvement, understanding legislation, and forming partnerships with interest groups to achieve a more inclusive and welcoming football community. With a focus on bringing about positive changes and advancing the standards of EDI in the industry, Aneel’s work paves the way for a brighter future in football.

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