Emma Clarke: FA backs call to honour first British black female player

The British Ladies team photo from 1895

The Football Association has backed a call to honour Emma Clarke, Britain’s first black female footballer.

The Bootle-born player first featured for the British Ladies’ team in 1895 and went on to appear at stadiums such as St James’ Park and Portman Road.

Now Anna Kessel, sports writer and co-founder of Women in Football, wants Clarke to receive wider recognition: “A blue plaque on her childhood home would be brilliant.

“It would also be lovely to see the ground on which she made her debut recognised. I know English Heritage have rules about where a plaque can be attached – on an existing original building – however there are no existing buildings left on the pitch in north London where Clarke played. Maybe English Heritage could rethink their criteria.   More

Female referee Sara Cox to officiate at Premiership Rugby Cup match

Sara Cox

Sara Cox will become the first woman to referee two top-flight English teams when she takes charge of Northampton v Wasps in the Premiership Rugby Cup on Sunday.

Cox, 28, was made the world’s first professional female rugby referee in March 2016 when she earned a central contract with the Rugby Football Union.

She was the first woman to officiate a second-tier men’s game in England when she oversaw Cornish Pirates’ meeting with Doncaster Knights in the Championship in March.

Cox, who gave up her own playing career because of injury, is scheduled to get her first experience of a men’s international this autumn, working on the sidelines of Hong Kong v Germany and Kenya v Germany, while she will also take charge of France Women v New Zealand Women on 9 November.  More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – November 2018

During November Transgender Awareness Week takes place week beginning on the 12th finishing with Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 19th.  With this in mind we have chosen Ash Palmisciano as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Ash is an actor and is best known for playing Matty Barton in Emmerdale. He is the first transgender actor to play a transgender character in the soap.

Ash was initially an adviser on the storyline working with the charity ‘All About Trans’ whose work relates to achieving positive representations in the media of trans people.  However during the time he was on the set he was invited to audition for the part and was offered the role.

Ash thought that as he has a similar background to the character he could really empathise with his character, but also, as an actor, it was a fantastic first job to work on a soap like Emmerdale.

He is also hoping to be a role model for others to show that although you might have a past and a bit of a journey to be who you are, you can achieve your dreams and ambitions.

Ash has also worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and was the first transgender actor to appear on the RSC stage. His other work includes Summer In London at Theatre Royal, Stratford East and Boy Meets Girl for the BBC.

Find out more about Ash here https://twitter.com/Ash_Palmo and about Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance here https://www.glaad.org/transweek