The grassroots game

Strategic Inclusion Advisory Group

In pursuit of progress.

Our SIAG support and advise us to operate in a way that meets the needs of all our communities and of the business. The SIAG assist in embedding inclusion fully into each year's county plan, and ensure Football is for All.


They help us to advance equality of opportunity amongst all our communities, foster relationships with all of our local communities to increase participation, and eliminate unlawful discrimination, bullying, harassment, and victimisation. 


The SIAG are always on the look-out for forward-thinking, committed and passionate individuals that want to make a difference. To find out more about joining the group, view the link below.




Leoni Waghorn

Leoni Waghorn

Leoni has worked in a volunteering capacity at DCFA since 2019 as a Disciplinary Panel Member. Since then, she has been appointed Equality Director and Chair of SIAG and has long term engagement within the sports volunteer sector, notably as mentor and ambassador for the Elena Baltacha Tennis Foundation as a female advisor to support underrepresented girls in sport. Leoni is also a board member of a mental health charity.

Leoni has studied Law at The University of Derby and is a current BPC pupil at ULAW Nottingham, aiming to specialise in commercial, contractual and regulatory Sports Law when in practice.
Sonny Nanua

Sonny Nanua

Sonny joined the SIAG in January 2022, having been involved in grassroots football for the last 20 years in various roles. A champion of D&I in his current profession as a Human Centred Designer, Sonny brings his experience of using empathy to understand others.

An avid Arsenal fan, Sonny likes to split his time watching and coaching his Junior Football Team. Away from football, you'll find Sonny on his mountain bike or behind his pizza oven.

Deborah Holland

Deborah Holland

Deborah has nearly thirty years experience as a teacher, with her current role being a Community Engagement Officer at The Pingle Academy. Deborah works closely with local sports teams, football clubs, Derbyshire FA and the Football Foundation, amongst others.

Having spent all of her working life in South Derbyshire, Deborah is committed to the people of the county; the students in the school, their families and the wider community.  Physical activity is important to all of our well being and should be accessible for all. Deborah joined the SIAG to make a difference to the lives of the people in Derbyshire.

Nick Rippon Smith

Nick Rippon-Smith

Nick is a grassroots coach at U10 level with Long Eaton United, with aspirations of coaching at the highest level possible with academy age groups. One of Nick's finest achievements in the game is his anti-racism work; An example of this being when his teams squad numbers were replaced with the 'Show Racism the Red Card' logo. 

Nick was awarded the 'Spirit of Grassroots' Award by Derbyshire FA in 2021 for his amazing work. Away from coaching, Nick is a family man, and travels the country following his beloved Leeds United with his two sons.

Hannah Peate

Hannah Peate

Hannah has 28 years experience working within the public sector across the local authority, education and health sectors, covering community engagement and development, physical activity, sport, recreation, health, facility management and development, workforce health and wellbeing.

She started her journey into leisure as a volunteer football and multi-sport coach and facility duty officer alongside her business degree.

jenny blewitt

Jennifer Blewitt

Jenny is the Safeguarding & Equality Manager at Derbyshire FA. Her role is to manage all aspects of Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk, in line with FA guidelines and legislation. She cooperates with Derbyshire football clubs to ensure they meet and exceed safeguarding requirements.

Jenny is very experienced in safeguarding and law enforcement, having served as a Police Officer in Staffordshire for 30 years.

ricky stevenson

Ricky Stevenson

Ricky is the Chief Executive Officer at Derbyshire FA, and his role is to deliver the business objectives and to drive strategy and partnerships opportunities across the county.

Ricky is also the President of The Federation International of Powerchair Football Associations (FIPFA) and plays an active role in the development of the game in England and across the globe.

anti discrimination
TELL Us - WE'll tackle it


A new process has been introduced which hopes to increase the speed with which discrimination cases are addressed.

‘Tell Us – We’ll Tackle It’ wants to reassure people that reporting discrimination makes a tangible difference, and that the updated process is simple and effective.

Tackling discrimination is absolutely crucial, and it’s absolutely vital that anyone who feels they have been the subject of, or witness to, discriminatory abuse can report it to us.

strategic implementation


In August 2021 we announced that we had achieved 'Foundation Level' of the Equality Standard for Sport.

Equality, diversity and inclusion played a major role in the development of our new business strategy for 2021-24, and this represented a step towards achieving our goals.


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