Show Racism the Red Card travelled to Victoria Park for the campaign’s first North East event of 2009 with Hartlepool United FC.
The afternoon was organised in conjunction with Hartlepool United Community Sports Trust and was attended by over 80 young people from Golden Flatts, Grange and Lynnfield Primary Schools.
The 2-hour programme was opened by Elected Mayor of Hartlepool, Stuart Drummond, who spoke about the regional support for the campaign and why there is no place for racism in Hartlepool. Then Gavin Sutherland, Campaign Worker, spoke about the SRtRC Competition and encouraged local schools to take part. The overall winning entry from the 2008 competition was screened to show the audience one of the mediums they could submit entries in and the young people seemed to enjoy the animation.
This event had a very educational focus and the assembled Year 5&6 pupils were treated to a mini – SRtRC workshop from Education Team member, Conrad Franks. This part of the session allowed the audience to have a clear idea of what racism is and form some thoughts on how it would feel to be the target of racism. It was very interactive and had the young people thinking and moving around. The event was being filmed for BBC Look North and this part of the event featured on the evening’s news bulletins quite prominently.
The arrival of the Hartlepool United players and other members of the panel signalled the end of this part of the programme and following a short 5 min break, the young people returned to their seats ready to take part in the Q&A. The panel included: Stuart Drummond, Ged Grebby (SRtRC Chief Executive), former professional footballers and current SRtRC football coaches, Gary Bennett, John Anderson and Dean Gordon, Hartlepool United players Alan Power and Michael McKay, new HUFC loan signing from Valerenga (Norway), Rune Lange, Hartlepool District Police Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant, Dave Halliday and Councillor Cath Hill, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Hartlepool Borough Council. The panel was chaired by SRtRC Management Committee member, David Foster.
Before the Q&A began, the Show Racism the Red Card DVD was screened and it seemed to go down well with the audience. Combined with the educational content the event earlier, it provided some thought provoking questions for the panel. They responded well and the 20 minute long session could have gone on for some time had we not run out of time. The club had been fantastically generous with prizes providing six balls, which the players all signed. Two runners up received a ball with a SRtRC T-Shirt, while the overall winning question of the day received an England shirt which the panel all signed. There were also three spot prizes for members of the audience who got a ball and SRtRC T-Shirt. All of the winners had their photos taken with the players and panel and Rune, Alan and Michael were good enough to stay and sign Hartlepool United / SRtRC posters for all of the young people.
In addition to the coverage on Look North, we were also fortunate enough to garner some media coverage from the Hartlepool Mail, Northern Echo and BBC radio as well as the club’s website. Our thanks go to all who attended the day particularly the players, schools, teachers, young people and the panel. Big thanks also to Keith Nobbs and Chris at the Hartlepool United Community Sports Trust for all of their help in arranging the event.