Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG)
Surrey FA Inclusion Advisory Group
Surrey FA are committed to ensuring everyone who is involved in football in the County has a great experience – regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability or disability, faith or age.
The Inclusion Advisory Group [IAG] are a group of individuals whose expertise lie within equality, inclusion and the nine protected characteristics. The role of the group is to support Surrey FA to ensure everything we do is inclusive and accessible for all. The IAG also help Surrey FA branch out to new communities and organisations to provide everyone with the opportunity to be part of the game in Surrey. The IAG meets once every two months to support the work of the wider organisation.
Meet the IAG
Riz Rehman is a former professional footballer who played for Brentford FC. After leaving the game, Riz gained a First-Class degree in Sports Science from Kingston University and embarked on his coaching qualifications with the PFA, currently holding a UEFA B License.
Riz is also qualified to work in the post-16 sector and is trained in Talented Athlete Lifestyle Support. He is part of the Education Department at the PFA and works on the Unionlearn 'Achievement Through Sport' project that extends the learning, training and educational provision for its members.
Furthermore, Riz works closely with a number of football clubs and their community trusts supporting the acquisition of skills for employment and education at all levels, while promoting inclusion, equality and community cohesion with a targeted approach to those learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. Riz's areas or expertise are within the protected characteristics of ethnicity and religion.
Riz is a director at the Zesh Rehman Foundation (2011-present), and on the Advisory Group for the Premier Leagues flagship ‘Elite Coach Apprenticeship Scheme’ (2015-present) and was the former Chair of the Surrey IAG.
Soye Briggs (Interim Chair)
Soye is currently the Chief Operating Officer of a Youth Charity: The Winchester Project and is a Board member of Surrey FA, Kinetic Foundation and Kickstart Charity. He worked previously at Fulham FC Foundation to deliver training to football coaches working with challenging and hard to reach young people. He also supported the club to achieve their Intermediate Equality Standard. He then went on to become Head of Operations at Fulham before leaving to take up a role as a consultant with Brentford Community Sports Trust and then in 2013 moved to a role as Director of Community Development at Crystal Palace FC Foundation now known as Palace for Life Foundation. Soye was also Head of Equality at Crystal Palace FC for two years, leading the club to achieve the Premier League Intermediate Equality Standard.
His love affair with Surrey County FA began 7 years ago and became a county member in 2012. He has sat as Chair of the Race and Religion subgroup and more recently vice chair of the Equalities committee and have been involved with the implementation of the SCFA Strategy as it relates to targets around the Equality Action Plan. He also sits as a discipline commission panel member and was nominated by the County FA to complete the FA sponsored ‘On the board’ programme where he graduated in 2015 in areas of Corporate Governance and is now a Trustee at the County and the current Vice Chair and has been a Board Director for 5 years. Soye also currently chairs the governance subgroup of the Board to oversee the implementation of the new FA Governance Code for Sport.
Soye has held senior management positions for the past 18 years and has been responsible for the creation, implementation and review of organisational Values, Vision and Strategies.
Currently responsible at Surrey FA for our Operations covering all areas within the charity including our progress towards Advanced level - Equality in Sport. I have a passion for all sports and have played most of them throughout my life. I played golf and hockey at a high level representing Zimbabwe. My involvement in football is fairly recent having only joined Surrey FA in Jan 2017 when I also started coaching. I manage an U13 girls team and am completing my Level 2. And an avid fan of football since I started supporting Liverpool at the age of six. You’ll never walk alone!
Previously I worked as an Account and Project Manager for a print and design business that evolved to digital and then mobile apps. Later on, I took on the responsibility for their operations and managed the project and design teams with responsibilities for HR, H&S, Finance and all costs throughout the business. Probably best described as a Marketing Consultant and Operations Manager with over 20 years’ experience with core skills in:
Integrated Marketing (Mobile, Social and Digital)
Business Improvement Techniques
Operational Planning & Management
Health & Safety
Overall I am interested in creating football opportunities for all particularly underrepresented groups with a specific focus on female and BAME individuals and groups. I am involved in all areas so I can continue to increase my awareness.
Dr Victor Olisa QPM
Victor served as a police officer for 35 years. He joined Surrey Police in 1982 straight from university, where he obtained a BSc Biochemistry (Hons) degree. In his 35 year career, Victor worked for City of London Police in various departments including Fraud Squad as a Detective Inspector. He also went onto work for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) as a Superintendent for six years before being promoted to Chief Superintendent and posted to Bexley Borough as Borough Commander and went on to do the same role in the borough of Haringey. Victor has a PhD in Criminology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2016 he took on the role of head of Diversity and Inclusion for the MPS and in 2017, he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished police service.
He retired from the Police Service In October 2017.
Since retirement, Victor has worked voluntarily as a Director for Safeguarding at Surrey County Football Association (SFA), a Trustee at Selby Trust in Tottenham, a friend at Middlesex Learning Partnership. He has worked as visiting lecturer at Portsmouth University, University of West London, and the police training college in Abu Dhabi. He works as an advisor with the Military Police in Sao Paulo and Civil Rights Defenders, which is a civil society organisation in Sweden. Victor recently joined the Board of Governors at NACRO as a Trustee.
Josie has over 20 years of international experience in consumer insights; strategic planning; social enterprise; and more recently as a D&I specialist and advocate for women's equality. Josie’s background has taken her around the world working in Australia, UK & Europe, Asia and the Americas. Josie is currently leading the Inclusion & Diversity program for Women in Sport, focusing on creating workplace cultures where everyone can thrive. Josie is passionate about inclusion for all, but particularly for women, parents, children/youth and people from non-white backgrounds. Josie's areas or expertise are within the protected characteristics of sex, maternity/pregnancy, age and ethnicity.
John Wallis (Secretary)
I have had a lifetime of grassroots football playing from before I can remember, circa 5 years old and still playing now at 59. Currently, my primary involvement is coaching my son's U18 Youth team at Bookham Colts FC, walking football at Meadowbank on a casual 'Just Play' basis, occasional 11-a-side Vets or Charity matches. I am a FA Licensed Level 1 coach and member of the Surrey Football Coaches Association. I have also completed several other FA coaching modules for Youth appropriate coaching and Futsal.
I am a semi-retired ex-IT Business Analyst and Project Manager with experience of the development and operational support and implementation of a wide range of computer systems. I have a wide range of current youth grassroots contacts throughout central Surrey.
I joined the IAG in June 2019 having seen the role advertised on the Surrey CFA website and want to contribute to making football accessible and welcoming to all. I have experience of mental health support services from a client perspective and recognise the value football can bring to help overcome common experiences of isolation and low self-esteem. These same potential benefits are relevant to potential age discrimination that I feel I have had personal experience in seeking employment over the age of 55. John's areas or expertise are within the protected characteristics of age and disability.
Our newest member of the IAG has a wealth of experience in football and sports management. Cigdem completed a MSc in International Sports Management at UCFB and Universidad Europea’s Real Madrid Graduate School, as part of Kick it Out’s ‘Next 25 Leaders in Sport’ scholarship. She also has a BSc in Sport and Exercise Sciences from Loughborough University.
Her journey in the Football industry began as an Intern at West Ham United (WHU), where she held the roles of Development Coach, Development Officer and eventually Health Programmes Development Officer - Leading the Health programmes (including NHS funded programmes in partnership with Newham CCG and local GPs). Following her time at WHU, she joined Chelsea FC as part of the Education team and remained there for 4 years. More recently, she joined Palace for Life Foundation as their Education, Training & Employment Manager and have recently been appointed as the Race Equality Lead. Cigdem also holds a consultant role with the FA, as an Education & Welfare Officer, supporting elite players who are part of the England Women & Girls’ talent pathway.
In addition, she has been working at Arsenal FC on a matchday since 2011, beginning as a steward, working her way up to deputy supervisor, designated safeguarding steward and most recently qualifying as a Licensing and Compliance Officer, having gained a Personal License. As part of her involvement with the Club, she has had the opportunity to support UEFA Champions League and Europa League fixtures - including holding a liaison role and travelling with the first team to Turkish and German speaking countries (most notably the UEL final in Baku), supporting travelling teams at their training sessions in London & making Turkish announcements during home fixtures at the Emirates.
As part of her wider involvement with Football and EDI, she is currently a trustee of the Zesh Rehman Foundation and a member of the Premier League Charitable Fund’s Race Equality Advisory group.
Football is a big part of Cigdem's life and a major bonding point for her and her father, who was also involved in football back in Cyprus and in the UK.
Graham is currently employed by a global Real Estate firm and leads its EMEA transitions. He has experience in working across many countries around the world including areas such as HR, EHS, Finance, Operations, Legal, Engineering, Technology, Quality etc for clients in the Finance, Retail, Industrial, Commercial, Technology and Pharma sectors.
From playing football in his youth and coming back to football supporting his son, he has held various roles at Abbey Rangers FC and supported leagues; such as membership Sec, Development sec, Hon Club Sec, AGS and now part of the Surrey FA IAG. Graham is a Level 2 coach and has Youth Mod 3 qualifications, leading the clubs Mini Rangers (3-6years), U12 Disability and Wildcats teams. In the community he supports Runnymede Sportability and the Surrey Youth Games as well as other local schools and organisations. Graham's areas of expertise are within the protected characteristics of age, sex, ethnicity and religion.
Kate is an experienced Sports Development professional with over 20 years working with under-represented and less active populations.
She has been actively engaged with a number of development organisations to create strategy and policy around inclusion. In addition to supporting the Surrey FA IAG, she was previously a member of Middlesex FA IAG and similar focus groups within the London and SE County Cricket boards, England Athletics as well as leading on disability sport networks in a number of London boroughs. She was involved with the creation of the London Deaf and VI Sport Forums.
Kate’s involvement with Surrey FA IAG came through support to the Football Development Team specifically around disability inclusion and was then brought into the project team working on achieving the Intermediate level of the Equality Standard.
She is currently project managing programmes across England for the Sporting Memories Foundation - using Sports Reminiscence and social and physical activities to enhance the lives of older sports fans living with dementia, depression, long-term health conditions or people who may be socially isolated and lonely.
Outside of work, Kate continues to volunteer her time to support work with young people across the London Youth Games programme. Acting as a Competition Director for the Para-Athletics event and as one of Games Referee Team, as well as providing development support to the Games around disability inclusion.
She is passionate about creating opportunities for all people to be active, irrespective of age, ability or any of the other protected groups. Her areas of expertise are within the protected characteristics of Sex, Age & Disability.
Surrey FA is committed to equality as an organisation, and we are transparent in this commitment.