Get On Board Graduates honoured at Wembley

Thursday, 03, April, 2014

Jason Roberts and Greg Dyke on the Wembley pitch

Football luminaries joined the The FA and PFA at Wembley Stadium to celebrate the inaugural 'Get on Board' graduation ceremony.

The initiative will create and increase the presence of the black and Asian ethnic minority people on boards - and is led by former West Bromwich Albion and Reading forward Jason Roberts and his colleague Karl George. 

At the ceremony, 12 graduates were awarded the qualification that will enable them to further their prospects in the corporate world.

As well as Roberts, the likes of Les Ferdinand, Darren Moore, Dave Regis, Ian Taylor were also in attendance at the landmark event.

Ex-England star Ugo Ehiogu and former Under-21 player Fabrice Muamba also joined the ceremony.

FA Board Member and Chair of the Inclusion Advisory Board Heather Rabbatts was at the event, and said: "Tonight is about creating cohorts of people who can participate in the world of football, business and charity work.

"Representation at board level is fundamental, as you're sitting at the heart of power for change and shaping the direction of a club or company.

"Inclusion is about adapting and learning from each other and carrying the advancement of diversity.

“Inclusion is about adapting and learning from each other and carrying the advancement of diversity”

Heather Rabbatts Chair, FA Inclusion Advisory Board

"I congratulate everyone here at Wembley as today's graduates are tomorrow's pioneers."

The FA is set to open shadowing opportunities on its boards to help the Get On Board graduates gain more vital experience of corporate governance, particularly in football.

With Wembley Chairman Melvin Benn also in attendance, both the national stadium board and that of St. George's Park were represented and both can therefore expect a new face around the top table to gain a further insight into the workings of such groups.

Meanwhile, Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of the PFA, added his support to the scheme.

"We are fully committed to this innovative programme of development for our players," he said.

"Focusing on governance and boards across football, sport and further afield for our players and ex-players provides a real opportunity.

"We see this as one of the many areas of support that we provide for our players which will equip them with career opportunities and experiences after their playing careers."