Introduction: Kickertables for Diversity


The goal of this workshop is to understand themes of diversity and discrimination on the example of sport while doing creative and skill based work. We see the kickertable as a symbol for diversity, openness and collaboration. During this workshop we will modify part of the Kickertable by creating unique kickertable figurines (by parintind and clothing existing or 3D-printed/or 2D-laser-cut ones), that each tell a unique story. Afterwards you can assemble them at the local clubhouse kickertable. How do we proceed? By discussing who is visible or not, how players are presented and then replacing the stereotypical miniature players with a collection of handcrafted figurines, the participants experience and learn about visibility, identity, representation and diversity issues. Through work in material they also experience the Modification and Do-It-Yourself feeling of a maker.

AGES: 8-14

This workshop is suitable for children aged 8 or older. However, it is very important to to the workshop with children who are from the same generation. While discussing topics like diversity, inclusion and representation, but possibly also topics like sexuality and race, the participants should more or less be on an equal level. The materials used to make the figurines also depend on the age of the participants. That's why we designed three versions of the workshop, according to the ages of the participants:

  • A version: 8-9 (no in-depth conversation, painting as modification)
  • B version: 10-12 (already more in-depth conversation, material modification)
  • C version: 13-14 (in-depth conversation, material modification)

TIME: 3-4 hours

Making and learning objectives:

Maker objectives:

  • learn about modification
  • learn about DIY methods
  • learn about following instructions
  • learn about project thinking and presenting

Pedagogical/learning objectives:

  • learn about norms, symbols, representation, visibility, diversity and discrimination
  • learn about creative and critical intervention in (sport) symbols


- big papers, pens and color markers for sketches

- photos from sport magazines and printouts of different players and football cultures

- brushes and water based paint (maybe acrylic if older group)

- spray can, stencil and graffiti or other think pen

- cardboard, scissors, scalpel…

- soft wood and plexiglas for laser-cutting (provide some laser cut-outs in advance)

- 3D printer with computer and material to demo (provide at least to printed figurines)

- at least 1 board of figurine players (can be cardboard). Preferably a whole KickerTable.

Step 1: Discussing Football and What Is Visible on the Table

Main question: are all players really the same? (30 min)

All ages:

Gather the participants around the KickerTable and start a conversation with them about what they see. If there is no KickerTable, you can use cardboard figurines or photos of a KickterTable and the figurines. A good question to ask is: are all the players they see really the same? How so? And is this a good representation of the real world/population?

10+ (B & C):
If you’re doing the workshop with kids aged 10 or older, it may be an opportunity to ask if they have already been taught about diversity and inclusivity at school and to let them speak about it.

Step 2: Drafting a List of What Could Be Different Players and How Would They Look

Main question: will they have different colours, shapes, clothes, but alsof for example syles and abilities? (30 min).

All ages:

Next, let the participants each draft a list of which different players they could put on the team and what they could look like. First, let them try on their own for a couple of minutes. Then, start a conversation about what they wrote down. Will their players have different colors, shapes, clothes,...?

10+ (B & C):
With the 10+ kids, you can open up the conversation by asking if someone included different styles, races, genders, sexualities and even abilities in their list.

Step 3: Splitting Into Two Groups to Brainstorm Two Different Teams

Important: make sure that groups are not homogenous or dominated by individuals. (45 min).

All ages:

In the third step of the workshop, we start brainstorming about what the figurines that we will make today will look like. Divide the participants into two groups to brainstorm about the two different soccer teams. While dividing participants, it is important to make sure that the groups are not homogenous or dominated by one or more individuals.

Each group will ‘design’ 11 figurine players. Provide the groups with large papers, pens and color markers to make sketches. To inspire the participants, you can give them photos from sport magazines and printouts of different players and football cultures.

Step 4: ​Developing/prototyping the Figurines (according to Age Participants)

Show the available material and give a quick demo on how to use the materials/machine/...

Now it is time to really start developing or prototyping the figurines. So far the workshop was more or less the same for all target groups (except for the more in-depth conversations with the 10+ kids), but now there will be a bigger distinction between the different age groups.

8-9 (A):

The children aged 8-9 will work with the original figurines (real ones or cardboard). Depending on the available material, the children are free to choose what materials they feel are best suited for their design. They can use brushes and water based paint (or maybe even acrylic paint) to apply their designs on the (cardboard) figurines. It is also possible to use a spray can, stencils or even graffiti. Note: one of the youth workers should always be present while doing this. Another possibility is to use scissors to cut out material that can be applied on the (cardboard) figurines.

10+ (B & C):

The children aged 10-12 and 13-14 can create prototypes for the figurines, based on their designs. In this case, they are not only changing the way the figurines look, but also the material they are made of. Depending on the available material and the facilities, the participants can choose to use the 3D-printer, the lasercutter, etc. to create their own figurines. Afterwards, they can also paint the figurines, using brushes and water based paint or acrylic paint, spray cans, stencils or graffiti.

Before they start, the participants must learn how to use the machines. A quick demo for different techniques, such as cutting and modeling, is advised. Note: one of the youth workers should always be present while using the machines.

When the prototypes are ready, it is important to do a quick revision to see if the prototypes need any adjustments. If so, apply the adjustments and create/print/… the final figurines.

Step 5: ​Making a Photo Documentation and Putting the Figurines in a KickerTable

Make sure to include documenting pieces and individual contributors.

The Kickertables for diversity workshop has established a network in Belgium under the name “Football for Everyone”. More information can be found on this facebook page: Photos of the created figurines are shared on the page, so make sure to document yours. After this, the figurines can be placed in the Kickertable.

8-9 (A):

If the participants worked with the original figurines, they can be placed again in the KickerTable (if there is one available) when they are ready. Make sure that any paint or glue is completely dry, before placing them in the table.

10+ (B & C):

If the participants created their own figurines, they can replace the original figurines in the KickerTable (if there is one available) when they are ready. Make sure that any paint or glue is completely dry, before placing them in the table.

Step 6: ​Presenting and Discussing the Experience, Also What Could Be Done More/next?

It is important here to think of options to offer another workshop or even how to have participant communicate work to others.

Before the participants start playing with their new figurines, it is important to discuss the experience. What did they learn? Has this workshop changed the way they look at topics such as representation, diversity and inclusion? With the older kids, 10+, this conversation can go more in-depth than with the younger children. It could also be interesting to think about what could be done more or what the next step could be. Posting the pictures of their figurines on the facebook page of the network, can be a great start. And after that, it’s time to start playing!