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How a West London non-profit is striving for more inclusivity in football

Inclusivity can thread togetherness amongst people in a community.

The West London Queer Project (WLQP) aims to bring people of all walks of life together.

On February 24th, the non-profit Community Interest Company, will be hosting the Festival of Football, a football tournament celebrating diversity in sport. WLQP focuses on advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community in West London and more. This event is open to everyone. 

Photo from Premier League Primary Stars

Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers, Brentford, and Fulham will have teams involved in the tournament. The National Health Service and the Metropolitan Police are planning their involvement. A couple of local councils are planning to be involved, too. 

The organizer, Aubrey Crawley, is hoping the event will display the joy that can be created through diverse people coming together to play sport.

“It’s not an LGBTQ+ exclusive event,” Crawley said. “I think over time by just demonstrating the joy, by being present and visible, hopefully that’s another way of eradicating homophobia.”

Partnership from the four of the premier football clubs in West London came as a surprise to Crawley.

“Last year, I had the idea to put on a Festival of Football,” Crawley said. “I had no idea that four of these football teams would actually say yes. Somehow, I managed to get them all on the same call and I presented the idea and they loved it. We’ve been doing some work with the NHS and the police already, so I had contacts there. When I suggested the idea to them too, they also completely loved it.”

The event will be hosted in Isleworth, from 10:30 until 17:30. There will be a community engagement and a social segment of the event; this segment will last until 20:00. 

Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club is the venue for the event. Their facilities are defined as state-of-the art by property consultant company, Pick Everard, and Crawley believes their hospitality has been first-rate. 

“We’ve been using Grasshoppers for nearly two years now,” Crawley said. “As a club they have been incredible. When we started using their facility, they sent their staff on gender inclusive training. They started assigning different changing rooms with gender-neutral included and solo- changing spaces. It’s actually incredible when you go there, you feel very welcome. There’s signage up on the walls speaking about inclusivity. Not once has anyone had any issues with feeling unsafe or unwelcome.”

Alongside clubs and the venue, Football v Homophobia, is working alongside the West London Queer Project to promote inclusivity in football. February is their annual Month of Action and Brentford FC will help to run a LGBTQIA+ skills session from 10:00-11:30 on the day of the event.

The support from Hammersmith and Fulham councils are able to expand the impact on the local community. Crawley is anticipating an attendance of 300 people, with different age groups and genders. Registration for teams is open until February 17th.

Crawley’s intention is to unite different people and host a joyful event for everyone involved. 

“Whenever you have a room full of people that are so diverse it just brings such joy,” Crawley said. “There’s so much joy to be had when different walks of life come together. I’m so excited, it’s going to be a brilliant day.”

West London is a hotbed of football and February 24th will provide a day for people to celebrate diversity within the sport.


  • Jaden Dakwa

    I am a sports journalist and I have been writing about football since 2021. Sports, in general, have been a passion of mine since a young age. The Gunners in North London are definitely my favorite team, but I have overwhelming love for the sport of football as a whole. In that aspect of my life, not much has changed.