The Football Association (The FA) and Swindon-based Nationwide Building Society have launched a new initiative to promote mutual respect on and off the pitch, with a national competition to design the first ever Coin for Respect.
The coin toss is a symbol of fair chance at the start of every game, but until now, no official coin has ever existed.
The Coin for Respect campaign is part of Nationwide’s pledge to ensure one million players, parents and coaches get involved with the FA Respect campaign by 2023.
The creative challenge is calling on children aged 3–17 years across the UK to design a unique coin that will become a symbol of mutual respect at the start of each grassroots game.
The winning design will be brought to life and distributed to more than 20,000 grassroots referees across the country in time for the new season, allowing them to start every game with respect.
The Coin for Respect campaign is launched with the support of England’s football stars Jordan Nobbs, Nick Pope, Beth Mead and Tyrone Mings, plus legends David James and Karen Carney.
David James commented on the campaign: “The Coin for Respect campaign is really important as it shines a light on respect in the game and connects with the younger generation of footballers, football fans, football followers, and highlights that respect is something that has to be adhered to.”
“The role of parents when it comes to respect in the game is vital. When you’re looking at the development of football, kids are at the beginning of their journey and if they have the right respect towards everybody early on then they carry that through into the amateur and professional game.”
“But the top of the game will also influence what the youngsters do. With professional game initiatives running alongside campaigns like this, that target the youngsters, we’ve got all ends covered and we will have a game that everyone can enjoy playing, watching or supporting.”
To get involved, hopeful entrants can visit nationwide.co.uk/mutual-respect/coin-for-respect. Submissions open from the 7th of April at 00:01 and will close on the 20th of June at 23:59.
After this, a shortlist of the 11 best designs will be selected by a panel of judges, with the public then choosing the overall winner. Shortlisted children will win a tour of Wembley Stadium plus some amazing England prizes.