Students are making a stand against racism using the country’s national sport to highlight the issue.
The Student’s Association of the University of the West of Scotland in conjunction with Strathclyde Police are hosting a 5-a-side football tournament at the University’s Thornlie Park campus as part of the Show Racism The Red Card 'Fortnight of Action'.
Arnaud Bastianelli, Student Assoc Sports President stated “The Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland (SAUWS) has a huge number of International Students as its members. As well as bringing diversity to our student body, they also bring a love of sport. This event is designed to show that the Students at The University of the West of Scotland will not tolerate racism through the universal language of Football. On behalf of SAUWS I would like to thank all those that helped to organise the event and all those who are taking part.
Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racism charity, which was established in January 1996. The aim of the organisation is to produce anti-racism educational resources, which harness the high profile of professional footballers to combat racism.
Show Racism the Red Card’s annual Fortnight of Action takes place in Scotland and Wales from 16th - 31st October, 2009 and encourages participation from all sections of the community to celebrate diversity and tackle racism.
Tommy Breslin of Show Racism The Red Card stated: “We are very pleased to be working with the NUS, this anti-racist event with the University of the West of Scotland is a very positive way of engaging students in a welcoming environment to educate and galvanize support for the anti-racist message. Over this Fortnight of Action we have seen on-pitch activities at SPL, SFL and Active Nation Scottish Cup ties. Over 60 community based initiatives are also organising events and a further 200 football clubs will be involved this coming weekend. It is clear that our football clubs from the grassroots through to the professional level want to send out a clear anti-racist statement that moronic racist behaviour is not welcome in our football grounds, or in any area of society. It is obvious that racism continues to be a social scourge, we all have a responsibility to tackle racism and show that it will not be tolerated”
The football event aims to bring together the many cultures that live, work and study in the Renfrewshire area in order to break down barriers that lead to racist attitudes and behaviour.
The event has been funded by the Renfrewshire Community Safety and supported by Strathclyde Police. Renfrewshire Sub Divisional Officer Supt Donald McCallum stated “Racism in any form is completely unacceptable in any civilised society and any reports of this type of behaviour will be rigorously investigated by the police and the perpetrator brought to justice. Strathclyde Police are keen to support any initiative which seeks to promote harmonious living between the diverse range of racial groups who reside and work in Renfrewshire”.