All day anti-racism education for young people at St James' Park with NUFC stars past and present.
Three schools came together to Show Racism the Red Card at St James' Park, Newcastle on Wednesday 3rd November.
St Bernadette's, Richard Grainger Campus and Chillingham Road Primary took part in activities to understand what racism was and how it affects individuals. Education Worker Lizz Bennett told the children: "There is nothing wrong with noticing what colour people are but the first step towards racism is judging someone."
Each school did a carousel of workshops, including looking at a photograph and asking what their first impression was of the person and the children learned that there are four elements to racism: colour, religion, nationality and culture.
Next, pupils played a bingo game in which they each explored how different countries are important for our everyday life, such as where our clothes come from, food from other countries and celebrities from around the globe.
"Subconsciously we grow up making assumptions," said Councillor David Down who attended the event, "The activities make the children think and it will have a lasting impression."
Each school also had a tour of the stadium which included going pitch-side and visiting the changing rooms.
The day ended with a question and answer session with a panel of current and former footballers including ex-Newcastle stars John Anderson and Olivier Bernard, former Middlesbrough player Curtis Fleming and player/coach at Morpeth Town FC, Trevor Benjamin. NUFC's midfielder Cheick Tiote and defender Mike Williamson completed the panel.
Pupils had the opportunity to ask the panel a question about racism with the chance to win match tickets to the Newcastle vs Blackburn game and Show Racism the Red Card prizes.
John Anderson said: "Racism was rife in the eighties and now every club in the country has a player from another country."
Using their role-model status, the footballers told the children about their past experiences on the pitch. "When people say racist things to you, it's as bad as a punch," said Fleming.
Although some players felt like they wanted to walk away from the game when racist comments were made, they expressed how important it is to have respect for yourself as well as others if they find themselves in that situation. "It can affect the whole team," said Williamson, "It's only a matter of time before people open their eyes and see that racism is wrong."
Report from Rebecca Summers
Volunteer Journalism Student.