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One Pack Week | The 2023/24 round-up | Equality | News

To celebrate the club’s fourth One Pack Week, which culminates with a double matchday this weekend, with both the men’s and women’s first-teams in action, wolves.co.uk reflects on a selection of highlights from the past 12 months.

June 2023 | Wolves attend Wolverhampton Pride

The season began with Wolves celebrating Wolverhampton Pride, and the launch of Pride in the Pack t-shirts designed by members of the club’s equality staff network and individuals from the club’s external equality advisory group, who independently advise and support on the clubs EDI strategy and plans.

Wolverhampton Pride returned for the first time in more than a decade and saw communities come together to celebrate, learn about and support LGBTQ+ inclusion within Wolverhampton.

Wolves marched in the Pride Parade which led to the main stage at the festival plaza in Old Market Square featuring a lineup of live music and an appearance from our very own Wendy and Wolfie.

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August 2023 | Molineux celebrates South Asian Heritage Month

Wolverhampton’s South Asian community were celebrated at an inspirational event at Molineux to mark South Asian Heritage Month.

Launched in 2020, South Asian Heritage Month honours and celebrates South Asian history, culture and people, in appreciation of the eight different countries across the southern region of the continent and encourages people to learn more about the region’s heritage, identity and customs.

For the Molineux celebration and with the 2023 theme ‘stories to tell’ Wolves and official supporters group Punjabi Wolves arranged a special event which featured a Q&A with a panel of inspirational local ground breakers and highlighted some of the achievements of Wolverhampton’s South Asian community.

The free event, which was open to staff, supporters and friends, was attended by more than 100 guests, and provided an opportunity to hear from a range of generations, people from different professions and sports who continue to make an impact on and off the field.

Guests heard from Wolves under-21s defender Kam Kandola and his father Karma Kandola, alongside Kurran Kullar, a graduate of the Wolves Foundation football coaching and development degree, Gully Powar a local professional super-bantamweight boxer and contributions from one of the UK’s most influential disabled people and founder of Diversability, Shani Dhanda who was joined by her 92-year-old grandmother who lived through the 1947 partition.

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September 2023 l FA Coach Placement Pat Wolves Academy

Wolves got involved in the FA’s commitment to developing more opportunities for coaches from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and female backgrounds, providing essential experience to challenge for coaching and technical roles at top levels, across both the men’s and women’s game.

Wolves supported the FA’s Club Placement Programme for the 2023/24 season, with the successful UEFA B candidate Lucy Jelf taking on a part-time 12-month volunteer role within the Wolves Academy goalkeeping department working alongside the head of academy goalkeeping and former professional footballer Scott Bevan.

Wolves became one of 19 professional clubs taking part in the initiative which reports to the Head of Coaching supporting with the development of academy players and gaining invaluable exposure to the coaching programme across all age groups.  

October 2023 | Wolves Foundation ‘Saluting our Sisters’ for Black History Month

Participants aged between eight and 18 who form the Wolves Foundation’s regular Kicks sessions – which provides a safe space to relax, play football and meet new people – headed to the Foundation Arena in Aldersley for an indoor round robin tournament themed around Black History Month.

As well as being able to enjoy a fiercely competitive event on the pitch, the participants also took part in Black History Month workshops based around last year’s campaign theme ‘Saluting our Sisters’, sharing more about the important role women have played throughout time and in their lives.

During the evening, the participants discussed why Black History Month plays an important role in society, as well as learning about some of the remarkable women who have shaped history, inspired change and built communities.

Each young person who attended the event also received an informative poster with past or present role models from the Black community who have had contributions to literature, music, fashion, sport, business, politics, academia, social care, health care, and many more areas of society.

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November 2023 | The Pack gets behind White Ribbon Day and #OrangeWolves

White Ribbon Day and 16 days of action is marked internationally and held annually between 25th November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and 10th December, UN Human Rights Day.

It supports the fight against male violence on women and girls, and a white ribbon was worn by Gary O’Neil and his staff to raise awareness of the campaign during the away fixture against Fulham during that period.

At the same time, Wolves held a workshop on domestic violence for the club’s under-21 players, the session led by Dr Lyndsey Harris, an associate professor of criminology from the University of Lincoln included an interactive quiz, where the players explored the alarming statistics related to male violence against women.

The thought-provoking session culminated in the signing of the White Ribbon Promise, signalling a commitment to never use, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

Wolverhampton also came together for the annual city-wide #OrangeWolves campaign further supporting the United Nations’ annual 16-days of action and ‘Orange the World’ campaign.

The #OrangeWolves campaign raises awareness of Wolverhampton’s drive to end gender-based violence, primarily committed against women and girls, including domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so called ‘honour based’ violence and sexual violence – as well as the support available to victims in Wolverhampton.

Wolves pledged their allegiance by taking part in a range of different ways including raising awareness on social media and in matchday steward briefings in the home match against Forest, whilst also lighting up Molineux in orange and encouraging staff to wear orange pin badges, staff from Wolves Foundation further supported at the pop up information stand in the Mander Centre.

The Orange Wolverhampton campaign is coordinated by Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together, the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum and the City of Wolverhampton Council.

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December 2023 | Improving matchdays for blind and partially-sighted supporters

Wolves linked up with RNIB, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, to improve the Molineux matchday experience for blind and partially-sighted supporters.

RNIB produced a guide, See Sport Differently Guidance showing how football clubs can make simple easy adaptions so matchdays are enjoyable and welcoming for fans with sight loss, and Wolves became one of five clubs to assist during its creation.

Research showed nearly a quarter of all blind and partially sighted people said they couldn’t experience or access a sporting event properly because a venue doesn’t accommodate for people with sight loss, but nearly two fifths said that their football stadiums had made a lot of adaptions to make the live viewing experience more accessible.

In linking up with RNIB, Wolves made significant strides towards improving the matchday experience blind and partially sighted fans visiting Molineux.

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January 2024 l Antisemitism Training & Wolves Academy mark Holocaust Memorial Day

The Maccabi GB’s ‘Tackling Antisemitism in Sport’ project, which actively addresses antisemitism within the realm of British Sport, was launched in September 2023 in partnership with the Office of HM Government’s Independent Advisor on Antisemitism.

Leadership and representatives from a cross section of departments including academy and football, HR, fan services, media, safeguarding and operations teams attended antisemitism training at Molineux.

The training session which explored the historical context and contemporary manifestations of antisemitism aims to empower organisations with the knowledge and tools necessary to recognise and combat antisemitism within the game.

As part of a wider Premier League initiative, all academies have been learning about the horrors and history of the Holocaust, and young players at Wolves once again commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day, which commemorates the remembrance of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and other victims of Nazi persecution including the Roma and Sinti community, homosexuals, disabled people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and political opponents.

Players from the club’s under-14 side gathered with coaches and staff during their training session to hold a minute’s silence to honour the memory of victims of the Holocaust including several prominent footballers. Players read from a card about Josef Klotz, a Jewish footballer, who scored Poland’s first ever international goal but was killed in 1941 during the Holocaust.

The significance of the ‘Football Remembers the Holocaust’ programme continues to engage year on year with the U-14’s players.

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February 2024 | Jackson named as Wolves Community Captain

Wolves Foundation recognised the contribution of Joe Jackson as their Community Captain for the Premier League’s ‘More Than A Game’ campaign – almost 40 years after he played for the Wolves’ first team.

Jackson, who has run the New Park Village (NPV) Football Development programme in the heart of the city for over 25 years, linked up with Wolves Foundation on their Active through Football project, which aims to increase the number of football-based activities delivered across the community.

Recognising key figures who make a difference in their area, Jackson was chosen by the Foundation to receive the Community Captain accolade from the Premier League for his ‘commitment and contribution to the game and society’ – the award was presented by O’Neil at Compton Park alongside former Wolves winger Zeli Ismail, who first set out playing with NPV before joining the club’s Academy and representing the first team, and has now come full circle, back coaching with Jackson.

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March 2024 | Molineux Connects

Supporters who attend Wolves home matchdays by themselves, or feel vulnerable as a lone fan, were invited to join the fan-led Molineux Connects group earlier this year.

Lifelong Old Gold supporter and Wolves Equality Advisory Group member Patti Jaffe was the creator of Molineux Connects more than a year ago, with the idea of providing a safe space for Wolves fans, where they can meet up with like-minded supporters before kick-off.

Patti had been building support for the group on the ‘Molineux Connects’ Facebook page, while a dedicated email – [email protected] – allowed fans who want to be a part of the group to contact for more information.

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April 2024 | Iftar Feast with the Pack celebrated at Molineux

Faith and culture were celebrated with players, staff, supporters and the local community at the club’s second Iftar Feast with the Pack event.

The open invitation was extended in the spirit of sharing and learning more about the different cultures and tastes that make up the city and football club, inviting supporters, interfaith networks, players and staff and their families to a unique event to embrace Ramadan with the sharing of an Iftar Feast with the Pack.

Ramadan is an important period for the Muslim community, and it was celebrated with the sharing of a feast and the breaking of fast known as Iftar at Molineux by 220 people of different backgrounds, ages, professions and beliefs including representation from the men’s and women’s first team players.

A special Q&A panel provided a cross section of voices, before the call to prayer (Adhaan), signalling the breaking of fast, this was delivered over the Molineux PA system and could be heard in the vicinity by local residents.

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Throughout the season, Wolves joined the Premier League in marking dedicated match rounds including Rainbow Laces promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion and the No Room for Racism fixture where both sets of teams take the knee to send a clear message that discrimination will not be tolerated in football or wider society, as well as demonstrating how diversity across all areas of the game makes it stronger.

Matt Wild, general manager for football operations, said: “One Pack Week has become a great tool to help bring together our collective equality, diversity and inclusion work, where year upon year it continues to grow, which is clearly evident through the selection of contributions being highlighted from across our organisation.

“This year, we also introduced our One Pack photoshoot which provided another avenue to spotlight the different experiences and stories from our players, ambassadors and supporters, and what One Pack means to them.

“I would encourage you all to play your part in the Wolves One Pack ethos by getting involved where you can, whether that be through matchday campaigns or future club events.”

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