Since the end of last year Show Bigotry the Red Card has been working across Scotland and outside the classroom environment to involve young people in grass roots football in our campaign.
We are delighted to say that, thanks to the funding from Scottish Government and the advice and support of the SFA, we have successfully completed a total of 10 events across a variety of regions in the country. In the course of these events we have managed to involve around 300 young people from the under-11s to under-21s categories, as well as a good number of coaches (and parents) at each respective club.
The clubs which have participated and have helped making this initiative such a success are:
Arbroath Community Sports Club
Dundee United Sports Club
Dundee West FC
Crosshouse Boys Club
East End Thistle FC
Giffnock Soccer Centre
Renton Craigandro FC
South East region
Bonnyrigg Rose FC
Murieston United FC
Each event began with an hour of fun football coaching sessions delivered by our enthusiastic and dedicated Red Card coaches Derek Ferguson, Gary MacKay and Michael Weir. This is a great warm up for the workshop that follows, which focuses on activities designed to encourage discussion and promote positive solutions around issues of sectarianism and religious intolerance.
Our young participants (and their coaches) hang on every word that their local heroes speak. By sharing their experiences of sectarianism, both on and off the pitch, our coaches are able to inspire the young participants and initiate some really great discussions.
Elio Ajmone, Project Manager of Show Bigotry the Red Card, said: “The most important outcome of these events is to get the young people talking about the issue and how it divides and is detrimental to their own communities. Getting them to think about ways in which this form of intolerance can be tackled is a step in the right direction. We then hope that they will go out into their own communities to spread the positive ideas amongst their own peers, be that when they are at home, at school or playing or watching football.
It has been really exciting and rewarding working with so many young people. The great response that we have had from the clubs involved so far has given us so much enthusiasm for the future of this initiative and we cannot wait to get involved with many more youth football clubs throughout Scotland and take this important work forward.” Watch this space.........