The Millers host their first full-day anti-racism educational event at The Don Valley Stadium.
Show Racism the Red Card have held anti-racism educational events with Rotherham United for the past few years, however, this was the first full day event at their temporary home, The Don Valley Stadium. 120 young people from schools across Rotherham attended and were involved in workshops in the morning and an exciting Q&A session after lunch.
There were three workshops running in the morning session and all students had the chance to participate in each. The first was an interactive, discussion-based session challenging stereotypes, run by Show Racism the Red Card. The second was run by Sheffield based Football Unites Racism Divides (FURD). FURD gave an extremely interesting talk about the world’s first black professional footballer, Arthur Wharton. Wharton has local connections as he played for both Rotherham United and Sheffield United between 1889 and 1895. We were joined for this workshop by a very special guest, Arthur Wharton’s granddaughter, who is currently campaigning for a statue of Arthur to be erected in Rotherham. The third workshop got the young people out on the pitch and playing some multi sports. This session was led by Rotherham United Community Sports Trust.
In the afternoon Mahroof Hussain, Cabinet Member responsible for Cohesion and Young Peoples issues, addressed the young people with an empowering speech saying “Once again Rotherham United and the Community Sports Trust have held a great ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ event. There is no place for racism in the modern game of football and the work being done by Mark Cummins from the Trust with the local school and kids to highlight what effect racism has on the players and supporters is exemplary”. The young people then watched the Show Racism the Red Card DVD featuring top footballers including Didier Drogba, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o.
The audience was joined by Rotherham player Exodus Geohaghon for a lively Q&A session. All the young people were keen to have their question answered by Exodus, Cllr Hussain and Show Racism the Red Card coach and former professional footballer, Dean Gordon. Exodus shared his experiences of racism whilst playing football and gave some excellent advice on how to tackle racism in sport and society. Dean Gordon had the difficult task of choosing the three best questions of the afternoon; the winners received Show Racism the Red Card goodies signed by Exodus Geohaghon.
Everyone who attended received a signed copy of the Show Racism the Red Card Rotherham United poster and Exodus stayed around to give out more autographs and pose for photos.
The young people left excited and discussing the topics raised during the day. We hope that they will spread the day's messages of anti-racism to their class mates at school.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank Dale Spilby and Mark Cummins from Rotherham United Community Sports Trust for an excellent event and Howard Holmes from FURD for running the workshop.