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Talking to decision makers

Nirvana would like to thank all the ypeople that came to our event on Wednesday 2nd April. Youth engagement is a difficult skill to master especially when they are asked to talk about how they feel for two and a half hours on a Wednesday evening; but that is exactly what Leicester Nirvana has done.

The event took place on Wednesday evening 2nd April 2014 at the African Caribbean Centre in Leicester and brought together young people and football decision makers. Offering each one a platform to discuss the issues of racism and discrimination in football.

Attendees from local community groups, Universities, League officials, National and Local Football Associations and campaigning group Kick It Out were all present and involved in what became very interesting conversations. 


We're more than just a football club

Local football club Leicester Nirvana who are increasingly known for championing equalities, were part of a select group of community members that sat down with Simon Cole Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police and Bill Knopp Chief Inspector for Local Policing in Leicester.
The session was an open agenda and provided an opportunity for the group, which included board members of the African Caribbean Citizens forum and members of the public, to discuss what the police could be doing better within the community and hear about some of the initiatives that are already in place.  It was suggested that high profile issues such as the recent Steven Lawrence report and the historical stop and search figures for Leicestershire; reinforce the lack of confidence in the Policing system that many adults and young people within the African, Caribbean and Asian communities still harbor.
It was clear through discussions that for anything to improve, greater conversation and consultation with community members and the Police must be a priority, which is something that was welcomed by the constabulary. Nirvana has agreed to work with partners in the community in order to help raise any concerns and issues that young people may be experiencing with the Police, in order for them to better understand the youth perspective.


Ivan Liburd from Nirvana spoke about local stakeholders coming together to deliver local initiatives that target particular groups, but also to hold each other to account for poor practice especially around discrimination.  Again this was something that the constabulary has said that they are currently discussing with local partners.
Ivan Liburd said, “It was great to see Simon and Bill spend much of the day meeting various members of the community in areas such as Spinney Hills and Belgrave, having open and honest conversations and more importantly listening to the people they serve”.

Nirvana is looking forward to working with the Police on future initiatives.


Football Development for ages 5 - 8 is back

Development sessions 4 - 6 year olds

at Hamilton from Sat 15th March, 10am - 11am.

£10 for a four week block. 

Click to read more ...


Championing Change For Our Youth

Leading from the front, grassroots club Leicester Nirvana FC continues to support community need and that of their users in the development of an inspirational educational programme in partnership with Sported. The project aims to mentor and educate young people, providing access to role models and will strive to ignite aspiration & demonstrate routes to success for young people. Nirvana will use football to empower young people and break down barriers to regular participation for marginalised groups, not just in sport but socially.

With recent incidents that have happened across Leicester and Leicestershire such as youths suffering racist abuse and threatening behaviour and the murder of a former coach; the project will address cohesion issues within and across communities through positive changed attitudes of young people about community and behaviours. The project will also develop leadership skills of young people by using various methods of engagement to educate the wider community.

Kirk Master, Chair of Leicester Nirvana has said “We as a club are excited about supporting more young people to achieve football qualifications as well as being able to support them with issues such as confidence & self esteem and to inspire them to greatness’.

Nirvana is made up of a melting pot of young people from all backgrounds many of which derive from inner city areas such as the Spinney Hills ward; experiencing discrimination in football and wider that has lead to welfare and self esteem issues & a need for learning around equality and discrimination. Under the surface these experiences have left them with a negative self-defeating mentality and a disillusioned perspective on life as well as a lack of aspiration. Nirvana is determined to help change that perspective and believes that now is the time to step up to the challenge of championing change for our youth.

Nirvana will work with organisations in the Voluntary sector, Public sector and the Private sector to deliver the package of work that will provide genuine life experiences for those young people most in need.

Nirvana believes that everyone has a role to play in the continued extended learning of our youth. To find out how your organisation can help Leicester Nirvana to Champion Change within young people or for more information about the Programme, please contact Ivan Liburd at




Nirvana 'Future Horizons' Conference Event - Wednesday 2 April 2014

'Future Horizons' Conference - Book Now

Leicester Nirvana FC is holding an evening conference a year after the successful launch of the event held in March 2013. The event will be on Wednesday 2 April 2014, at the African Caribbean Centre, Maidstone Road, Leicester, LE2 0UA, 6.00pm – 9.00pm.

Nirvana has been in continuous conversation with Government Ministers, the National FA, County FA, Kick It Out and local community groups over the past 12 months; discussing how all forms of discrimination in sport can affect young people and adults within our community.

It is very important that you as an individual, a parent, a community member or an organisation has an opportunity to have your voice heard and input in to these discussions so that we as a grassroots community can discuss how we can make a difference for the better.

We are inviting footballing decision makers back to Leicester and offering them a platform to tell us what they have put in place to reduce discrimination in all its forms within football locally and nationally over the past 12 months. Attendees from last year’s event felt there should be more action being taken to stamp out racism and discrimination on and off the pitch and that many issues affecting grassroots football were still prevalent, for example distribution of adequate facilities amongst BME clubs.

When questions were asked of the audience at last year’s event, they gave the following responses:

  • 73% of respondents said they had witnessed or experienced racism in football
  • 64% of the respondents found the reporting process to be poor
  • 64% of respondents had witnessed or experienced racism in football and not reported it to the FA and 65% said that it was because they did not think they’d be taken seriously
  • 29% of respondents thought that racism in football had stayed the same over the last 10 years and 29% thought it has got worse 


Over the past year Nirvana has been campaigning for justice regarding an abusive event that took place in October 2012.The football club in question were eventually found guilty after a hearing at the Leicestershire County FA on 4 counts including charges aggravated by Race. Nirvana also successfully secured a criminal prosecution against a parent/supporter of the football club in question at Leicester Magistrates court, proving that persistence and unity can make a difference.

Some of the recommendations that Nirvana have made nationally and locally to benefit the overall game of football are:

  • Diversity Training - A change from the FA at a National level to ensure that better training is given to members of County FA’s and those that perform disciplinary duties in all reported cases.
  • Club Sanctions - A review of ALL clubs Charter standard kite mark at their annual health check review if they have been convicted of any form of racism or discriminatory charges.
  • Club and Player Sanctions - A review of the sanctioning powers levied to the County FA’s at their disposal for clubs and players found guilty of racism and discriminatory charges.
  • Policy Influence - Challenged the National FA’s original 96 point Inclusion and Anti Discrimination Action Plan which failed to address the numerous issues and recycled many initiatives from old.
  • Community Programmes - Initiate programs that target hard to reach youth within a grassroots setting in order to build a relationship and a presence within communities.

Discussions on the evening may include: New strategies and reporting processes of Kick It Out, Asians in football initiatives, Inclusion and Anti Discrimination Plan, Overall affects on communities and families, Routes to influence, Future plans in football and more. Places are limited to 100 delegates so to secure your place.