A race advisor from the local community has followed in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s footsteps by visiting the new national centre of footballing excellence.
Claudia Webbe, based in Bunhill, was invited to St. George’s Park, Staffordshire – officially opened last week by the royal couple – last Tuesday as part of her role advising the Football Association on equality and diversity issues.
A meeting discussing a recent parliamentary report on racism in football was top of the agenda, with the reality of only three black managers in the 92 Football League clubs and the John Terry saga showing race is still a serious issue within the game.
While at St. George’s Park, the advisors were also given a tour of the new £105m complex, and Webbe suggested the new centre could inspire greater diversity.
She said: “I hope to bring change both in governance and the development and engagement of people in football, from player involvement to fan involvement.
“St. George’s Park is meant to be a community facility, open to all from grassroots football right through to the professional game. Part of the FA equality advice is to ensure it is available to all.”
Ms Webbe, 47, has been an advisor to the FA since 2008, and has worked with the Kick It Out campaign tackling racism for the last 10 years.
As well as chairing New Scotland Yard’s Operation Trident Independent Advisory Group raising awareness about police efforts tackling gun crime in London’s Afro-Caribbean communities, she is also well known in Islington for her role as a Labour councillor in the Bunhill ward.