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New IAG Chair appointed

Professor Surinder Sharma appointed Non-Executive Director and Inclusion Advisory Group Chair at Leicestershire & Rutland County FA

Leicestershire & Rutland County FA (LRCFA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Surinder Sharma as Non-Executive Director and Inclusion Advisory Group Chair.

LRCFA has launched its Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG) with a view to further progress and streamline the work towards the objective of “Football for All”. As part of this revival, Professor Surinder Sharma, has been appointed as the new Chairman of the group.

The IAG is an independent body which provides advice to the LRCFA Board on matters of equality, diversity and inclusion to ensure children, young people and adults of all backgrounds and communities can access high-quality opportunities across grassroots football.

Furthermore, the work of the IAG will further strengthen strategic relationships with external organisations who are working with and towards similar objectives and purpose.

As Chair, Surinder will lead the IAG in support of LRCFA, updating and delivering its Equality Action Plan and running projects across the organisation to continue to achieve the Equality Standards for Sport. Surinder, as Chair of the IAG, will now take up a position on the Associations Board. 

Dal Darroch, Head of Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Programmes for The FA said, “I am very pleased to see Leicestershire and Rutland County FA appoint a new IAG Chair in order to drive equality, diversity and inclusive practices into the region which is so rich in diversity and perspectives.”

“Surinder brings with him a wealth of experience and I look forward to seeing how the LRCFA Inclusion Advisory Group progresses to deliver real tangible benefits to the local grassroots football community. I wish the CFA the best of luck”

Rasheed Cader, Independent Board Member for LRCFA said, “We are extremely pleased that Professor Surinder Sharma is joining the Board. The Leicestershire and Rutland County Football Association in pursuit of progress is committed to build on a diversity and inclusion plan across the grassroots game in Leicestershire.”

“In the appointment of Professor Sharma to head the Inclusion Advisory Group incorporates that vision. Professor Sharma brings a wealth of experience and has an outstanding knowledge in this field. I wish him all the success and look forward to working with him.“

Professor Sharma is recognised as a Czar for diversity and inclusion nationally, in Europe and Internationally. He has been championing equality, diversity and inclusion issues for over 40 years where he has gained a reputation for innovation, excellence and success as well as a proven track record of achieving change in private, public and voluntary sector organisations. These organisations include the NHS, Novartis, Ford Europe, Littlewoods, BBC and the Commission for Racial Equality. 

Having operated at all levels within organisations, Sharma has extensive experience at board level in developing strategy in a National, European and Global context as well as working with key stakeholders within organisations (senior leadership, line managers, trade unions, HR, customers, suppliers, employees, external stakeholders and shareholders) to develop models of excellence and best practice around Diversity and Inclusion linked to organisational vision and values. 

Awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees and Honorary Professorships from 6 Universities including De Montfort University and University of Leicester, in recognition of his successful and innovative work. Sharma has also served as the High Sheriff of Leicestershire 2016-17, Alderman for the City of Leicester and is currently serving as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire. 

The IAG Chair will lead on the recruitment of the LRCFA Inclusion Advisory Group Members in the forthcoming weeks.