Leading experts and activists come together for FARE conference04 May 2012

‘Game Changers. Equality, Inclusion and Activism’ brings together 150 delegates to look at equality and inclusion in sport

Leading experts in anti- discrimination, inclusion and social responsibility in sport will join representatives from 38 countries across Europe at a conference in Rome this weekend.

Former NBA Basketball player John Amaechi, Italian FA President Giancarlo Abete, UEFA Executive Committee member Karen Espelund, and former Serbia footballer Ivan Ergic are all speaking at the conference which is being organised by the FARE network, with the Italian Sport for All Association (UISP) and the Italian FA.

The conference, on Friday (4 May) and Saturday (5 May), will bring together over 150 people together with some of the most influential people in the field of social activity and sport.

On the agenda will be sessions on the challenges facing Poland and Ukraine as they host the European Championships this summer; how women are facing the challenges of tackling glass ceilings in sports leadership; ideas on new campaigning techniques to build social movements in sport; and the role of athletes in the helping to bring about social change.

Among the initiatives being profiled over the weekend is a UEFA Exchange your jersey advertising spot for the Euro 2012 Respect campaign, which includes a Respect Diversity project run by FARE.

The spot stars a whole host of football stars including Clarence Seedorf, Pierluigi Collina, Steffi Jones, Karem Benzema and Peter Schmeichel.

Also being launched for Euro 2012 is a FARE manual on far- right symbols and banners. The manual will be used by monitors and match officials to deal with problems of racism and xenophobia during the tournament.

Looking ahead to the conference FARE Chairman, Howard Holmes said, “This is a big occasion for FARE. We have come together before many times, but never in Rome, never in such large numbers, and never before have we had a chance to look forward to such a good programme, with so many possibilities for sharing.

“There are over 100 groups due to be present and we are particularly pleased that we have amongst us some very talented LGBT-rights activists, more people from ethnic minority backgrounds, and more women than ever before. This unity of purpose is what the FARE network stands for.”

Other conference speakers will include William Gaillard, advisor to UEFA President Michel Platini, Maria Bobenrieth chief executive of WomenWin and former head of CSR for Nike Europe, Filippo Fossati President of UISP and speakers from the European Commission, Council of Europe and Fundamental Rights Agency.

The conference will also see the first General Meeting of the FARE network on Saturday afternoon.

The full programme for ‘Game Changers. Equality, Inclusion and Activism’ is here.

Go to Exchange your jersey for details of the UEFA respect campaign for Euro 2012