Celebrating 1 year of Everyone Anyone

Wed 22nd July 2020

We at the Rangers Charity Foundation are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the club, in its message of tolerance, respect and understanding for all.

Playing an important part in the creation and implementation of Everyone Anyone, we can now look back at one year of the pioneering initiative and celebrate all that has been achieved so far.

So, what has your Foundation done to ensure that Rangers is open to all regardless of gender, sexuality, faith, age or ethnicity?

Diversity and inclusion has been a key pillar for the Foundation for many years, which is reflected in the work we do within the local community. Prior to launching Everyone Anyone, coaches were already delivering:

  • Free Autism Friendly Football sessions for 60 youngsters aged 5 – 16 each week.
  • Free football sessions for children living with visual impairments.
  • Diversity Wins: a programme for primary school children which aims to promote equality between young people via interactive anti-sectarianism and LGBT+ awareness sessions.

Working alongside the club, the Foundation’s Director, Connal Cochrane, has chaired the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group for two years – helping to engage CEMVO Scotland (Centre for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations) and support the launch of Everyone Anyone.

Since then, we at the Foundation have proudly expanded our Diversity and Inclusion pillar by:

  • Launching a new anti-racism and anti-discrimination programme with Show Racism the Red Card and the European Football for Development Network, aiming to raise awareness of diversity, foster social cohesion and reduce physical and verbal violence linked to racism.
  • Expanding and updating the existing Diversity and Inclusion project via a partnership with TIE (Time for Inclusive Education).
  • Working with the Rangers Academy to deliver bespoke anti-sectarian workshops to students.
  • Hosting an inclusive football tournament with LEAP (Leadership, Equality and Active Participation in Sports).
  • Hosting Open Door events at Ibrox with the club and CEMVO Scotland.
  • Engaging with Ibrox Pride to bring the Rangers Family together for MardiGla.
  • Supporting the club in its recognition of the Rainbow Laces campaign.

This work has culminated in the Foundation receiving accolades both national and internationally, most recently being shortlisted for the Diversity in Sport category at the Sports Business Awards 2020. Just this week the Foundation and club was also nominated for a Proud Scotland Award, celebrating its work within the LGBT+ community. 

Rangers Charity Foundation Director Connal Cochrane said: “From a Foundation perspective, Everyone Anyone has given us a fantastic platform to celebrate and share the existing positive work we have been doing.

“Diversity and inclusion has been a key pillar of our work for a number of years and we have developed a number of programmes – for me, it has alwaysbeen crucially important there is genuine activity and projects that underpin the campaign and we will keep the momentum going.

“Both the club and Foundation are being increasingly recognised for their work in this area through a number of awards and award nominations.

“Reputation is really important and it is fantastic the journey we are on. Hopefully we can have a momentum that the players, the club, everyone at the Foundation and the fanbase can join us on this journey, feel proud of what we are doing and really celebrate and champion diversity.”

The campaign will continue to grow and evolve in season 2020/21 and beyond and Stewart has been delighted with the response from the Light Blue legions.

Reflecting on one year of Everyone Anyone, he said: “I think it has been fantastic.

“I think the recognition it has had from external sources has been telling from the political scene, the media or within football. It has been very, very well received.

“Most importantly for me, the supporters have taken to it in a very positive manner and I think it is very reflective of where we are as a society today.

“I have been delighted with the response and delighted with the manner in which the team, the supporters and people out-with the Rangers Family have got behind it.

“Society is changing. We need to be diverse, we need to be inclusive. It’s important we are as inclusive as we possibly can. The campaign itself will continue to evolve.

“We are open to all and anyone is welcome to come to Ibrox and feel welcome when they do. That’s so important if you are a player, a supporter, someone from the academy, a partner or a sponsor. Everyone who comes to Ibrox should be made to feel very welcome.

“Everyone Anyone has become part of the club’s values. That for me is one of its key successes. It’s not about one event. It’s the fact it now pervades through everything we do at the club.”

Jordan Daly, co-founder of Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) said: “We have been fortunate to build a partnership with The Rangers Charity Foundation, and have seen firsthand the invaluable work that they are doing with young people across Glasgow - geared at increasing an understanding of diversity, and fostering respect.

“The Rangers Charity Foundation has gone above and beyond in their efforts to address stigma and prejudice, and continue to do so. In particular, our partnership work around tackling homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, and addressing prejudice-based bullying, happens all year round. We know that there is a strong commitment from all at the Charity Foundation to do the hard, but necessary, work required to eliminate prejudicial attitudes from our communities.

“One year on from the Everyone Anyone campaign, we look forward to continuing to strengthen our work with The Rangers Charity Foundation, and ensuring that the fundamental message that we should treat each other with kindness, humanity and respect - and recognise that our diversity is our collective strength - is one that young people across Scotland continue to hear.”

Adam Tomkins MSP has also praised the club for launching such a worthy initiative. He said: “I congratulate Rangers Football Club for a successful first year of their Everyone Anyone diversity and inclusion campaign.

“They have taken a lead role and set the standard for other clubs to follow across the United Kingdom. The launch of such a ground-breaking initiative is very encouraging and I have seen it grow in the past 12 months. 

“I look forward to seeing it continue to progress and evolve in year two. I applaud everyone involved.

“Rangers and their Charity Foundation deserve great credit for creating such a meaningful and pioneering campaign and I wish them well for the future.”

Fiaz Khan, a lifelong Rangers fan who works for CEMVO Scotland, the ethnic minority voluntary organisation which has forged close links with Rangersand the Rangers Charity Foundation in the past year, said: “CEMVO Scotland, over the course of the year, has had the privilege to work with Glasgow Rangers Football Club and support the club in its endeavours of becoming more inclusive. 

“We feel the commitment from Rangers FC and its Foundation has been commendable. Holding engagement events for under-represented groups has allowed Rangers to raise its profile as a community club and there for all. 

“The visual campaign has been fantastic and this also shows commitment from the Rangers FC board and staff to the issues of Equality & Diversity. We [CEMVO Scotland] would welcome the opportunity to have further dialogue with Rangers FC and the Foundation in how we could support and assist with this very important area of work.

“Rangers FC have laid down the foundation now let’s see if we can build on this.”

David McArdle, from the Scottish Football Association, added: “As Scottish FA Diversity and Inclusion Manager I would firstly like to congratulate Rangers Football Club on the first anniversary of their tremendous Everyone Anyone campaign which has brought a real awareness and voice to the whole football community. 

“Scotland is a truly diverse Nation and one in which we should be proud of. Football within Scotland aims to match that diverse nature and Initiative such as Everyone Anyone celebrates our diversity by showcasing it in a way that really only Football can. Utilising the Power of Football and the power of Rangers FC to bring to the forefront the diverse nature of a community and fan base.

“The true value in the initiative is not only the slick visuals which can be seen in match day programmes or websites, however the value lays within the cultural change in which Rangers and their Charity Foundation are providing through education, projects and diversifying the voices which make up our national sport. 

“I truly look forward to viewing the next steps Rangers take within this ground-breaking initiative which will improve our sport and continue to be excited in working together to make a meaningful and sustainable change not only within Scottish Football but within Scottish Society.”

Carole Anderson from Ibrox Pride added: “Ibrox Pride continues to support Everyone Anyone. We were delighted that one of our founder members Rhiannon was featured in the campaign. Everyone Anyone has the potential to deliver lasting change and support diversity within Rangers Football Club. 

“We recognise that changing attitudes takes time and consistent work, but we are pleased that many Rangers fans support EA and call out intolerance when they see it. Together with Rangers we will work towards making football inclusive for all”

CLICK HERE to watch an interview with Stewart and Connal on the success of the Everyone Anyone campaign and its future in 2020/21 and beyond.