Jamie Hooper has been commissioned to lead EuroHockey’s All In & Win project, an EU-funded program with the objective to contribute to LGBT+ acceptance in sport, creating a safe and inclusive climate.
It will form a significant next phase in the EHF’s Equally Amazing Charter which aims to ensure everyone, at every level, from the boardroom to the pitch, gets access to the same opportunities, no matter of gender, age, race, religion or skill level.
Hooper is a long-time friend and collaborator with the EHF since becoming one of the first participants on the Youth Panel over a decade ago. Through this avenue, he helped deliver ParaHockey and Hockey5s events as well as coaching clinics. Since then, the Youth Panel has evolved from an initial group of four people to a network of over 200 young people.
He has also been an international indoor and outdoor umpire while his working life focuses on equality, diversity and inclusion within sport through roles with Hockey Wales, Sport England and his current consultancy which he began last year.
This has led to him playing a lead role in LGBT+ participation in these roles. He is also a vice president of the Gay Games, a multi-sport event which takes place every four years and is billed as the LGBT+ Olympics.
“When this project came along, I absolutely jumped at the chance,” Hooper said of his involvement.
“This aligns so much of what I do in work, hockey and my passions. It is a massive opportunity and I am so pleased to get on board with it. It is a really good group of people involved in the project who are really interested in learning and making a difference.”
All In & Win is a joint project between hockey and football which will see an initial six months of data gathering, asking people’s opinions, collecting lived experience and ideas on how to make things better.
It is part of the Erasmus+ programme and will be conducted in partnership with the European Football Development Network, German Sports University, University of Cyprus, John Blankenstein Foundation, the Romanian Football Federation and the Malta Football Association.
From that data-gather, the group will spend time developing solutions and working out what ideas to test with a set of pilot groups including the Catalan Hockey Federation and Czech Hockey Federation.
“Those bodies will be instrumental in testing out the value of the ideas. They will have different challenges and work in different ways. It will be brilliant to get under the skin of that, to see what progress can be made.
“If we get it right, it will help everyone – more people playing, more involved in volunteering, officials and so on.
“It is brilliant to be linked with football but hockey will also get some really good exposure and there is loads of potential to go further.
“We know hockey is a big part of the Gay Games and the Euro Games. The Pink Hockey organisation delivers those tournaments which is a network of LGBT+ hockey players around the world so for them to get more involved in the mainstream delivery of hockey is really exciting.
“It has a big potential to take the Equally Amazing campaign even further.”
“Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Erasmus+. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.”