Following a weekend social media blackout in response to racism, prejudice, and discrimination on online platforms, HFX Wanderers FC returned Monday with its “Together For Change” campaign and accompanying podcast featuring Canada Soccer director for Ontario and Canadian soccer diversity advocate Paul Martin.
Martin, an ex-player and coach of Pickering FC’s men’s side in League1 Ontario, speaks about fostering diversity and inclusion in the CPL and Canada Soccer, meeting fellow Trinidad and Tobago national and mentor Stephen Hart, coaching in L1O, forming his organization Black Coaches Canada, and much more.
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“It’s important to see that representation,” Martin said about coaching against Master’s FA head coach Rick Titus. “We know there is a challenge. We’re looking statistically in terms of representation numbers and at the highly competitive levels close to 40 or 50 percent of our program feature players from our communities. But when you look for that representation at Canada Soccer, Ontario Soccer, organizations like that, it’s almost non-existent. It’s not to blame those organizations either – it’s a societal issue.
“We have to bring about equity. We know there are many people in our communities that are capable of these positions.”
Together for Change is hosted by HFX Wanderers’ Diversity and Inclusion Officer Marvin Okello. Previous episodes have featured Wanderers supporters, staff, and Pacific FC coach Pa-Modou Kah.