Thanks to support from Barclays Wealth, SRtRC were able to deliver anti-racism workshops on the Isle of Man
Pictured: Christian Roberts enjoying his coaching session at the National Sports Centre
Isle of Man Today, October 2011
A team of Show Racism the Red Card's ex-professional footballers visited the Isle of Man this week to share a message of anti-racism with young people.
Olivier Bernard, Christian Roberts and Paul Mortimer were on the island this week to promote the Show Racism the Red Card initiative, a charity that produces anti-racist educational resources and harnesses the power of high profile professional footballers to help combat racism.
Paul Mortimer, an ex-Aston Villa and Charlton player, stated that their aim was to, "educate children about all aspects of racism, we want to give them a better understanding of what racism is".
This is the second year that Show Racism the Red Card has come to the Isle of Man, supported by Barclays Wealth.
The bank arranged the visit as part of its commitment to diversity across all areas of the business while striving to build a workforce that reflects the placed in which the business operates.
Olivier Bernard, an ex-Newcastle United footballer, believes that whilst many of the children may not have personally encountered racism, it is important to educate them.
He said: "This place feels like a really nice island. You go to the schools and there has never been any trouble but it is important to educate young people and to help them recognise and respect diversity.
"Most of the time they will grow up and go to the UK to study, where they will see a different culture. They can then deal with the situation and report racism, as we want them to do."
During the answer and question session one of the children asked them if they had suffered from racism. Ex-Bristol City player Christian Roberts explained to the children that racism isn't just about skin colour. He said that as a Welsh player playing for an English club he suffered racism because of his nationality.
While visiting the schools on the island, the pupils were treated to a fun day of football fitness and a workshop that provided the children with an introduction to the subject of racism and its origins, causes and practical ways to combat it.
St John’s teacher Peter Lewis, said: "It is tremendous, it is essential for the children. The Isle of Man has fewer minority ethnic groups [than other parts of the UK]; I have never seen racism in kids’ football but it is still vital and important. It is a really worthwhile exercise and motivational for the children.’
The schools that were involved in either a visit from the players or invited to the NSC and Bowl included Onchan Primary, St John’s, Ashley Hill, Ballakermeen and St Ninian’s.
The former players also gave a talk on Monday evening at the Manx Museum
Pictured below: Young people enjoying the Red Card Magazine with Olivier Bernard