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Salma continues the countdown

Salma from the Brentford Women's Development Team will take part in our countdown on Saturday

30 August 2019

Our countdown to the final Sky Bet Championship game at Griffin Park will continue tomorrow when Derby County come to Griffin Park. Salma, who plays for our Women's Development Team - and who took part in our event in April to discuss the issue of racism and discrimination in football, will flip the numbers over on Saturday. Here is her story:

I'm Salma, I play for Brentford development team. I feel so honoured to have been asked to take part in the Farewell Griffin Park countdown. I've played for Brentford for a season now and the experience has been unforgettable.

A few months ago I took part in the BBC Young Reporters competition and as part of the competition I had to share my story with the BBC. I decided that I wanted to share my journey through football, including the racism and discrimination I've had to overcome to get to where I am today. It's not been an easy journey, however, I felt if I could share my story with as many people as possible I'd be able to not only inspire young females to get into football but also possibly help anyone that has been affected by racism themselves. My story was then shared with BBC reporters and editors who were judging the competition. After a series of shortlisting I was finally told that my story was successful and that I had won the competition. As a result of winning the competition, the BBC were going to produce my story.

Since producing my story with the BBC I have received endless amounts of messages from people all over the country telling me how my story had inspired them. I had girls messaging me telling me how it made them feel represented and empowered, some telling me it made them understand a little more how it feels to be on the receiving side of racism and discrimination and I had many telling me that they support me and wish me the very best. I felt so overwhelmed with joy that I had been successfully able to do what I set out to which was to use my story to inspire others. I was able to turn a very negative part of my life into something so positive.

My message to everyone reading is to never let someone's opinions or comments stop you from pursuing your passion. It may seem impossible at the time but step by step you will get there and you'll be so glad you stuck at it. A quote that has always helped me is "if there's a will, there's a way".

There is absolutely no space for racism or any kind of discrimination in football and I'll do whatever it takes to help put a stop to it. But that's not enough, it takes whole communities coming together to make a change. Brentford has been incredible in their campaign towards diversity and inclusion, with all the fans and community coming together at events such as Brentford's diversity and discrimination event alongside Kick It Out. I couldn't be more grateful to be at a club that values everyone regardless of their differences and one that has such a supportive and powerful fan base. It's such an exciting time with the move from Griffin Park but also an emotional one as I'm sure many hold dear memories at the current stadium. Nonetheless, it's a step in the right direction and I look forward to seeing what the future holds at Brentford.

Tickets are still available for the game against Derby tomorrow so book yours now to avoid missing out. Don’t forget, the away stand is sold out so only previous ticket purchasers are able to secure their places for Saturday’s game against Derby County.

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