Young people from local primary schools enjoyed an afternoon of anti-racism activities
Pictured L-R: Clint Easton, Kane Ferdinand, Merrick James-Lewis & Luther Blissett
Show Racism the Red Card held an exciting event at Southend United FC on Monday 17th October. Young people from Great Wakering, St Mary’s and Bournemouth Park Primary Schools came to the stadium where they took part in an afternoon of enjoyable and educational activities. The event was opened by Nora McKenna from Southend Council who spoke to the young people about the different languages spoken in Southend and how all of our cultures are made up from lots of different influences.
The young people then heard from ex-England footballer Luther Blissett about his experiences of racism, before undertaking some exciting educational activities which helped them to explore stereotypes, define racism and respond to racism where it occurred. The event culminated in an Q&A session between the young people and a panel which included Luther Blissett, ex-Watford footballer Clint Easton and current Southend players Merrick James-Lewis and Kane Ferdinand. The young person who won the prize of a signed football for the best question of the afternoon was Yussef from Bournemouth Park. All of the young people left with goody bags, including a signed poster and the new SRtRC magazine.
Dale Spiby, Chief Executive of Southend United Community & Educational Trust said: “We at Southend United believe wholeheartedly that people have the right to not be discriminated against because of their skin colour, nationality, religion or culture. If we can help address some of these issues and young people can see their heroes that they support on matchdays sending out no tolerance messages, then we simply have an obligation to back these messages. Football has a way of uniting people like no other. It’s a perfect leveler and a place where everyone is equal. When you’re on the pitch, the person next to you is simply your team mate and negative perceptions go out of the window. We want this to happen in society, we want people to be seen as individuals and not stereotyped because of their heritage. Kane Ferdinand and Merrick James-Lewis did a great job in representing the club and passing on this message to the young people attending and we can hopefully start to challenge and educate some of the negative perceptions that young people fear about race, faith, religion and culture.”
Huge thanks to Dale Spiby and all at Southend United for their support of this event. We look forward to working with the club again in future.