Darren Moss stood next to Rachel Cossey

Rachel Cossey on Norfolk FA's inaugural Black & Asian Festival

Marketing & Communications
We spoke to Rachel Cossey about the success of Norfolk FA's recent Black & Asian Festival.



The Black & Asian Festival was hosted at Harrod Sport Arena on Monday 30 May at The FDC, Bowthorpe.


Following the conclusion of Norfolk FA’s inaugural Black & Asian Football Festival, Football Development Manager, Rachel Cossey, spoke about the day’s successes.


Mentioned within this interview are Darren Moss (FA National Coach Development Lead), Nimesh Patel (FA Regional Coach Development Officer for Diversity and Inclusion – East), Sadhia Islam (Youth Projects Coordinator at New Routes) Ken D’Rosario (Chairman of ISAG), Gabriel Evbota (ISAG Member) and Ebus Onuchukwu (local grassroots coach at Norwich Eagles FC).


Rachel Cossey on the success of the Black & Asian Football Festival:

“It was a really positive day with over 20 children engaged in the festival. The idea for the festival originated during discussions with our Inclusion Strategy Advisory Group (ISAG) where we wanted to provide fun and engaging footballing opportunities for coaches and players from Black and Asian backgrounds. To see the idea come to fruition and have so many children engaged and enjoying football was brilliant. It was also great to have the support of Darren Moss and Nimesh Patel from The FA, who came and visited the festival to speak with the players, coaches, and parents in attendance. Overall, we are really pleased with how many players, coaches and parents we were able to engage with and support on the day and we are looking forward to being able to build on what we have started and provide even more opportunities in the future.”

A young boy enjoys playing football at Norfolk FA's inaugural Black & Asian Festival, at Harrod Sport Arena.

 Rachel Cossey on role models in the game:

“Two of our ISAG members were instrumental to the success of the day with our Chairman, Ken D’Rosario and ISAG member, Gabriel Evbota supporting the planning and promotion of the day, as well as leading our coaching sessions. To have Gabriel, Ken and local grassroots coach, Ebus Onuchukwu supporting the coaching at the festival was an important element of what we wanted to achieve. I know personally the positive effect seeing strong female role models has had on me and my aspirations when I was growing up, in not only football, but in life. Therefore, having such excellent role models as our three coaches, we hope that this will have inspired the young Black and Asian players in attendance, in a similar way.“


Coaches at Norfolk FA's inaugural Black and Asian Festival, at Harrod Sport Arena. Left to right: Sadhia Islam, Nimesh Patel, Ken D'Rosario, Ebus Onuchukwu and Gabriel Evbota.

Rachel Cossey spoke about what she most enjoyed at the festival:

“I really enjoyed seeing 5 or 6 girls playing in the festival. To have one of the girls who came to watch her siblings play, ask to join in with the festival rather than watch, is exactly what the day was all about. Being able to introduce the game to those that haven’t played before, as well as providing additional opportunities to those already engaged, was a real highlight. We also can’t forget to mention our winner of the player of the festival being one of the girls!”


A young girl enjoys playing football at Norfolk FA's Black and Asian Festival, at Harrod Sport Arena.

Rachel Cossey on New Routes:

“We can’t fail to give a special mention to New Routes who are a fantastic organisation that already do amazing work in Norwich supporting the integration of refugees and asylum seekers into the community. We have worked with New Routes before supporting football sessions for open age players but working with them to provide football provision for U18’s has proven to be another success. It was also great to work with Sadhia Islam at today’s event, again, another excellent role model, especially for the girls.  We have high hopes for continuing our relationship with the organisation; and, together, encouraging more children of all backgrounds to play and enjoy football.”


To find out more about the festival and other inclusive offers within Norfolk football, please e-mail Rachel.Cossey@NorfolkFA.com.