Our third regional event with football fans took place on Monday 21st February at Dens’ Park, home of Dundee FC.
Our third regional event with football fans took place on Monday 21st February at Dens’ Park, home of Dundee FC. The event was held in the Andy Penman Lounge and we had a very good attendance which included representatives not only from a variety of bodies and organisations within the city of Dundee, but also from Perth and Aberdeen.
We were extremely pleased to be joined by representatives of supporters clubs from both Dundee teams, as well as a range of volunteers and staff from Youth Football clubs including Dundee West FC, Scone Thistle and Jeanfield Swifts. In addition the Unions were out in force with members of Unison (NHS Health), Unite the Union and the TUC taking part in the event. It was great to see local politicians also taking interest in our initiative with members of the Scottish Labour Party present as well as the MSP for Dundee West, Joe Fitzpatrick (SNP). To round up this diverse audience we were joined by Ian Lowe, Regional Manager of the Scottish Youth FA, officers from Tayside Police and a journalist from the Catholic Observer.
On the panel were our dedicated Red Card coaches - Hearts FC legend, Gary MacKay, and former Dundee FC player/manager and local hero Jim Duffy. The coaches led a lively discussion with members of the audience offering a wide range of views on the issue of sectarianism in Scotland and much valuable feedback on the ‘Rivals not Enemies’ DVD. Attendees also had many insightful and positive ways to take the anti-sectarian campaign forward.
ArabTRUST's Chris Bennison said, "I'm fully behind what this campaign is about and it will always have my backing"
Kevin Hutchens, the Scottish Labour Party Scottish Parliament Candidate for Angus North and the Mearns praised the important role that Show Bigotry the Red Card is playing in Scotland today and, following the event, published a news release urging others to become involved in our campaign. In the article he praised our “.... valuable work with young people” and expressed interest in our new efforts to deliver our material within prisons, within this he urged us “....to consider working with Open Prisons that specialise in rehabilitation work such as Noranside”. He further recommended that the British Transport Police and SBtRC should work together to address “.... sectarianism incidents involving football supporters on trains”, pointing out that “...many people avoid these trains completely or are totally intimidated by the atmosphere” .
Elio Ajmone, Project Manager for Show Bigotry the Red Card, said: "we had a great response from the region. To see so amny organisations and individuals working in the community offering us their support can only be positive for the future of the campaign. A special thank you goes to Laura Hayes and Alison King at Dundee FC for all her help in organising this successful event, also to the Dundee Disabled Supporters Society for helping us to promote the event".
And finally a date for your calendar! This series of Show Bigotry the Red card events with football supporters will culminate with a special event in Glasgow at Hampden Park, home of Scottish Football, on Thursday 24th March 2011. I would ask anyone interested in coming along to get in touch by phoning or writing to:
Project Manager, Show Bigotry the Red Card
t: 0141 222 2058
m: 07947 544 004