The official premiere of the new Show Racism the Red Card film was held at the home of one of its stars, that of Chelsea FC player Didier Drogba.
SRtRC had worked in partnership with Chelsea FC’s Education Manager, Suzi Raymond and Kick It Out to put on a memorable afternoon for 60 young people from local primary schools. The school children had been invited by Chelsea’s Community Programme, which is holding some 40 anti-racist workshops in schools during October, featuring SRtRC supporter and former Chelsea player Paul Canoville.
Paul was able to attend on the day to take part in a panel that also included another former Chelsea player, Ken Monkhou. Paul Canoville was the first black player to play for Chelsea and Ken was the first black Chelsea player to win the club’s Player of the Year award. Joining the two former Chelsea players was Chelsea Womens’ player and USA international, Lorrie Fair, former West Ham, Fulham and QPR and current SRtRC coach Leroy Rosenior, from The Football Foundation, Dave McDermott, from FIF-Pro, Tony Higgins, from SRtRC Ged Grebby and the panel was chaired by Chelsea pitch announcer Neil Barnett.
Later, the panel would answer some questions from the young people on racism. However, the event had started with the young people sitting in the west stand and being filmed by SRtRC’s own camera crew and TV crews from BBC and Teachers’ TV. All three of the camera crews stayed for the event, which helped further the excitement for the audience.
The event proper, began with a short introduction and welcome to the afternoon from Suzi Raymond then Ashley and Keeley from Kick It Out led a quiz with the audience that took in some of the milestones and interesting facts about the history of black footballers. KIO provided prizes of One Game – One Community T-Shirts and other goodies for those with the right answers. Following this activity, Neil Barnett introduced the panel and then Ged Grebby spoke briefly about the new Show Racism the Red Card film. Around half way through the screening of the film, the action was paused and Leroy Rosenior spoke powerfully about his experiences on and off the field and about working with the campaign. The remainder of the film was then shown and the young people, having paid attention throughout seemed to have found it engaging.
There then followed a Q&A session with the young people keen to ask questions of the panel, those who did were given an SRtRC wrist-band. The Q&A finished when we were out of time. There were no prizes for the best question of the day, instead SRtRC’s poet in residence, Elliot Joseph pulled a name out of a hat, the lucky young person received 4 tickets for a Chelsea game during half term. Eljay then proceeded to draw proceedings to a close with a performance of his poem ‘Racism’.
As the panellists were interviewed by the different media outlets, the school children received a SRtRC goody bag containing our resources, and some Chelsea FC and KIO goodies. They were then able to go on a tour of Stamford Bridge.
The afternoon was a very successful premiere of the new Show Racism the Red Card film and we would like to thank all of the young people and teachers who attended, as well as the panellists and invited guests. Big thanks go to all at Chelsea FC, particularly Suzi Raymond for all her assistance in organising the event and the large contingent of SRtRC staff who helped ensure the event went smoothly.