A charity set up in the name of a hairdresser murdered by her ex-partner has teamed up with a football club to tackle sexist attitudes towards women.
The Hollie Gazzard Trust has been named as Cheltenham Town’s named charity for the upcoming football season.
As part of the partnership it plans to roll out a project which teaches coaches how to be role models to young footballers coming through the academy.
Nick Gazzard said: “Football can be a great medium for spreading messages.”
The University of Exeter has been working with the trust, Public Health England and Devon County Council on the Football Onside programme.
It builds on previous work done by the university to tackle sexual violence in student communities but tailoring it to football.
He added: “We are delivering it at Exeter City FC at the moment because we’ve worked with them over the past year as the pilot.
“But I’m hoping to bring it back to Cheltenham and with our new partnership with Cheltenham Town FC as our new charity partner, and be the first to receive this programme.”
Mr Gazzard who played for Cheltenham Town between 1983 and 1987, added that the programme would be looking at challenging the language players use as banter.
“They use a certain terminology which can be misinterpreted when they use it on a football field.
“Some of the phrases they would use would be ‘he raped you today’.
“What that would mean would be, ‘he took the ball off you’, but outside football that would have very different connotations and it’s to get them to understand the link between the two,” he added.
The aim is to get the programme up and running in the Autumn.