Monday 26th February 2018
Charlton Athletic’s management team took time out of their League 1 promotion race on Thursday 22 February to run a one-off training session for CACT Invicta FC, the first LGBTQI+ friendly team to be affiliated to a professional football club, as part of the Football v Homophobia Month of Action.
Demonstrating Charlton’s commitment to supporting CACT Invicta’s aims to raise awareness of LGBT issues and tackle homophobia, CAFC first team manager Karl Robinson was joined by his Assistant Lee Bowyer, and First-Team Coach/Club Captain Johnnie Jackson.
The trio put the team through their paces with a punishing session at the club’s Sparrows Lane training ground in New Eltham.
CACT Invicta are open to all players, regardless of their background. In their inaugural season in Charlton’s colours, Invicta are sitting top of the London Unity League, six points clear with four games to play.
CACT Invicta Player-Manager Gary Ginnaw reflected on the nature of the groundbreaking work his team were undertaking, saying:
“All we want to do is come down, play football, work hard and be successful. Hopefully we will have something to look back on in years to come that we achieved together and made a difference.”
Football v Homophobia is a grassroots campaign that exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football.
Charlton Athletic dedicated their home game against Oxford at the beginning of February to tackling homophobia, the second annual themed matchday of this kind at The Valley.
Speaking at the event, CACT Chief Executive Jason Morgan MBE discussed how Charlton Athletic has always led the way in fighting discrimination.
“There are certainly echoes of the work we undertook to combat racism in football back in the 1990s. Those projects were picked up and taken to a national level.
“Similarly, it’s now great to see other clubs across the country now affiliating LGBTQI+ friendly teams and taking positive steps to promote inclusion and supporting this within clubs and community projects.”
In December, Norwich City launched Proud Canaries FC, a new team to promote diversity and inclusivity in football.