Manchester City football stars have been given a lesson in kicking racism out of football by Welsh primary school pupils.
Manchester City football stars have been given a lesson in kicking racism out of football by primary school pupils.
Roberto Mancini gathered his Premier League leaders together to watch an award-winning film produced by the young children to help understand prejudices in the game.
The play featured a black player who was bullied by his team-mates, but then ended up a hero.
City manager Mancini was so impressed he sent the delighted pupils a personal letter of congratulations.
David Roberts, class teacher at Hafod y Wern Community School in Wrexham, said: “We were delighted Mr Mancini and the stars from Manchester City have taken time out to recognise our school in this way.”
A class of 30 pupils aged between nine and 11 from the 300-pupil Caia Park school created the film for a national competition.
The children scripted, acted, filmed and edited the play during their break times with the help of their teacher.
The story followed the arrival of a non-English speaking Portuguese boy at a new school and his bullying ordeal at the hands of the football team.
They were scared of losing their place in the squad for the cup final and the bullies made him not bring his boots and not turn up for training.
But their bullying backfired when the teacher noticed the potential of the Portuguese player and put him in the team at the expense of the two main bullies.
He was selected on merit and scored three goals in the cup final, making him an instant hero and the most popular boy in the school.
The film won the media category in the Show Racism the Red Card competition at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the production then went on to win the overall national prize from all categories beating 4,885 entries from across Wales.
Proud of their achievements, the pupils decided to send a copy of the film to a selection of Premiership football clubs and the first to reply, at a time when racism in football is under the microscope, was Mr Mancini. Along with the letter, the Manchester City boss sent the pupils a framed signed photograph of the team.
Emlyn Jones, chairman of the school governors, said: “Pupils, staff and governors were delighted that the school was awarded first prize earlier this year, but the fact that the video was actually used as a serious training resource by one of the leading Premier League teams is an immense and well deserved compliment to the pupils and staff involved.
“There could not have been a greater tribute and we thank Mr Mancini for his kind comments and signed momento.”
Teacher Mr Roberts added: “We live in a multi-cultural society and our school reflects that. We work hard to introduce any initiatives within our school that will benefit the children, not just now but later in their lives.
“We are so proud to have won the national Show Racism the Red Card award. The children worked so hard, understood the importance of the message of anti-racism and applied it to their work.
“The children are the future fans of football and we feel it is important to highlight the effects of racism now, so it will hopefully be eradicated in the future with a new generation of football fans leading the way.”
You can video the winning entry video from Hafod Y Wern on your Welsh YouTube channel HERE
For more information regarding our schools competition click HERE
Source: The Leader