An important message for supporters

West Ham United will be continuing to support programmes that promote tolerance and inclusion in 2013 by marking a number of key equality dates throughout the year.

The club remains committed to tackling discrimination in whatever form it takes and will be promoting events and campaigns that highlight and combat prejudice towards individuals because of disability, race, sex, sexual orientation and religion.

The first high-profile event the club will be supporting is the annual Holocaust Memorial Day, which will be marked at the Queens Park Rangers fixture on Saturday 19 January. The club will also be sending representatives to the local events in remembrance of the estimated eleven million people who were killed by the Nazis in the Second World War. This included six million Jews, one and half million of whom were children, as well as gypsies, the mentally ill, homosexuals, religious dissidents and other minorities.

The aim for this year's Holocaust Memorial Day events are to 'build a bridge' between communities, which ties in perfectly with West Ham United's commitment to equality, social inclusion and community cohesion. The Hammers won praise last season for their work with the newly-launched Football v Homophobia campaign, as they became only the second football team to wear the organisation's T-shirts. That support will continue during FvH's awareness week this year, which ties in with the annual Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Month in February.

James Tomkins

West Ham will then once again celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March, where the club will carry on its support for initiatives that promote gender equality throughout football. Likewise, the club will be marking Black History Month, which takes place in October.

West Ham prides itself on being a place that welcomes supporters from all faiths and the club will be working with local inter-faith projects that help contribute to greater understanding of different beliefs during Inter-Faith Week in November.

The Hammers also has a thriving Disabled Supporters' group and recently hosted a hugely successful Disabled Supporters' Forum, which was attended by Sam Allardyce, Guy Demel and Robert Hall. The International Day of Disabled People falls on 3 December and the club will be consulting with its disabled members on the Supporter Advisory Board to help promote the issues that affect disabled fans.

Sam Allardyce at disabled fans forum

Joint Chairman David Sullivan said: "Both David Gold and I feel it is hugely important that we continue our great work from 2012 that highlights discrimination in society today. We supported a number of key initiatives last year, which we will be looking to build on throughout 2013.

"We both firmly believe that West Ham United is a club that promotes fairness and inclusion across the board and we want the Boleyn Ground to continue to be a place that people from all backgrounds feel welcome.

"I would like as many fans as possible to join us in this work and we would love to hear from any of you that have suggestions or ideas for any other projects or campaigns that you would like to see West Ham United supporting.

"Our tagline of 'Moore than a Football Club' has become well known throughout football this season and we want to carry on demonstrating to the rest of the world why West Ham United is exactly that."

Kick It Out

The Joint-Chairman's comments follow the positive reaction to the club's response to the unsavoury reports from the Premier League game with Tottenham Hotspur on 25 November.

Kick It Out Chairman Lord Herman Ouseley said: "Clubs have the power to show leadership and set an example for the vast majority of its supporters to follow in instances like this. Here, West Ham have done exactly that.

"Kick It Out has seen first-hand the appetite the club has in embracing anti-discrimination initiatives, with David Gold and James Tomkins both acting as campaign ambassadors in 2012. By doing this they're helping to send a message as to what is and what isn't acceptable.

"It is clear they feel abuse of this kind won't be tolerated and, in a period where the issue is high on the agenda, this approach is something we applaud."

Keep an eye out in the programme, and the club's twitter and Facebook pages for further updates on the events when they are available. If you have any suggestions for any inclusion projects you would like to see West Ham United support, email [email protected]

Moore Than a Football Club