Robinson, Bowyer and Jackson put on training session for LGBTQI+ friendly team CACT Invicta

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Charlton Athletic Community Trust Invicta (CACT Invicta) were recently invited to Sparrows Lane by Karl Robinson and his staff for a training session, as part of Football v Homophobia's Month of Action. 

The team - who last summer became the first LGBTQI+ friendly side in the country to be officially affiliated to a professional club and its community trust - are having a fantastic season.

They currently sit top of the London Unity League and Player/Manager Gary Ginnaw, a life-long Charlton supporter, is delighted that his club are continuing to be frontrunners in tackling discrimination of all kinds.

"It's massive," said Ginnaw, who took part in the sessions with Robinson, Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson. "To have the support of first-team manager Karl, Lee and Johnnie; they are Charlton idols and, for them to dedicate some time to us, I can't thank them enough.

"Personally, I struggled to come to terms with my sexuality, which I regret. I should have come out years ago and I should have played football years ago. I would have never thought something like this was possible five or 10 years ago and if it can make a difference to even one person then that is fantastic."

Charlton Athletic Community Trust CEO Jason Morgan MBE oversaw the Addicks' hugely-successful anti-racism campaigns in the 1990s.

They are, of course, still ongoing today and he is extremely pleased with how his staff are also going above and beyond to help stamp homophobia out of football, and every-day life.

He said: "If you look at how we have addressed issues in society over the years, we have taken things to the highest level we can. The rainbow laces and Football v Homophobia play a big part now but we have taken it to the next level. 

"That's why we're so proud to be the first club to be formally affiliated to an LGBT-friendly team. CACT Invicta are a big part of the Charlton Family and we should all be immensely proud of that.

 "Coming out and doing the coaching session means a lot and I know it means a lot to Invicta. If we can drive this message, educate, break down barriers and address issues in society, then that's our responsibility."

Club captain Johnnie Jackson put on a training drill for the team and he was impressed with the quality that they showed. 

He said: "I've always said, a person's background, ethnicity, gender or sexuality doesn't matter. All that matters is getting people playing football and enjoying it.  

"It's brilliant that Charlton are at the forefront of this and I thought the lads did really well in the sessions we put on. There was a good intensity, they took to everything quickly and I saw some glimpses of quality too."

Supporters can watch more from the training session for FREE on Valley Pass

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