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Image from y touringChallenging attitudes to sexism, racism and homophobia in football

The Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation has been working in partnership with Y-Touring and The FA on a project which aims to engage young people in an informed debate about the current youth culture surrounding football, and challenging attitudes related to sexism, racism and homophobia.  The project also aims to widen access to the game, particularly among girls and Asian communities. The project has been supported by the Football Foundation and Central YMCA.

The main focus of the project is the delivery of a play by Y-Touring called Full Time, written by Rachel Wagstaff, to students aged 14+. The performance will be followed by a live debate during which the students will be encouraged to explore what they think and feel about the issues posed by the drama.

The production has been specifically designed to be a valuable cross-curricular learning tool with particular relevance to the PE, Drama, English, PSHE/Citizenship and RE curricula. Teachers’ resources, including lesson plans, have been developed to accompany the play for these lessons.

Participants will also have the opportunity to take part in their local FA’s youth coaching programme, with a focus on getting girls and particularly Asian girls to the sessions.

The tour started in on November 5th and will last six weeks. Y-Touring will be visiting schools in London, Manchester, Yorkshire and Lancashire. During this time the Company will do 43 performances in 23 schools, and will be seen by around 8,000 students.

WSFF’s role in the project is to evaluate of the success of the play and debate in challenging attitudes and also the success in up-take of the coaching sessions, and we will be publishing a written report of the findings in spring 2008.

A second tour of the play will be taking place in autumn 2008, in six different regions, but will be modified depending on the findings from the evaluation of the first tour.

Y-Touring is Central YMCA’s Touring Theatre Company, established in 1989.  The Company takes its theatre and drama to schools across the country with the aim of highlighting important, often difficult, current issues to empower its audiences of young people and adults to generate change in themselves, others and society.

If you would like more information about the project and the play, visit the Y-Touring website www.ytouring.org.uk - where you can also download preparatory lesson plans and teachers resources - or contact Chris Lillistone at WSFF on 020 7273 1739 or email chris@wsff.org.uk.