Chelsea FC is committed to using the power of football to promote greater tolerance, unity and inclusion in society. As part of the No to Hate initiative, funded by club owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea is launching a photo competition inviting fans worldwide to help demonstrate how sport can be a unifying force in society.
In partnership with photographer Mel D. Cole, Chelsea is asking fans to share photos which demonstrate the diversity of the Chelsea community, and the role football has to play in promoting tolerance.
Mel D. is a world-renowned photographer and the founder of Charcoal Pitch F.C., the first and only black-owned football specific photography agency dedicated to telling black and multi-cultural stories through a visual lens. Mel D. is known for his work in bridging the racial divide and promoting tolerance in football.
The competition is open to Chelsea fans anywhere and everywhere. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to enter, you can just use your phone – your photo can be old or taken yesterday. The competition is open for six weeks and will close on 3 November.
Once the deadline for submissions closes, Mel D. will lead a jury who will shortlist a series of images. From those chosen, we will ask fans to vote for their favourite and the final 25 will be selected as winners. The winners have the chance to win some incredible prizes, including a Chelsea FC shirt signed by representatives from the men’s and women’s team, be featured in a special magazine and participate in a virtual award ceremony and exhibition of the winning photos.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was featured in the launch video, spoke about what the competition represented: ‘Football has always managed to bring us together – no two players in our team look the same, but we all come together on the pitch and represent the club we love. We know the same stands for our fans and this competition is a great chance to prove that we really are a club for all.’
Callum’s enthusiasm for the competition was echoed by Bethany England: ‘I’m proud to be part of a club that continues to champion combating discrimination in all its forms. This competition is so exciting as it’s a chance for fans to get involved by sharing their own photos, showcasing their love for the game and helping to play their part in creating positive change.’
Chelsea’s chairman Bruce Buck stressed that this is another step in an ever-growing fight against racism and discrimination at the club. ‘Photos can tell stories that words often can’t. We know that Chelsea fans from around the world have their own unique perspective of how football crosses borders and unites. All of us at the Club look forward to seeing their contributions and use this opportunity to come together in our fight against racism and discrimination.’
Speaking on the competition, Mel D. said: ‘Working with a club such as Chelsea, a leader in the world of sports on and off the pitch when it comes to anti-discrimination projects, has been nothing but a dream come true for myself and my agency, Charcoal Pitch F.C.
‘I'm beyond proud of what we created with this partnership. The No To Hate photo competition is open to everyone around the world! I cannot wait to see what photos are submitted by our footballing community as I know they will be nothing but spectacular, visually tantalizing and very diverse. Football brings the world together and it has zero space for racism, all types of hate and discrimination. Let's unite and always say No To Hate!’
To enter the No To Hate photo competition, visit www.chelseaphotocontest.com