SRtRC Honorary Patron Gavin Peacock has taken the message of SRtRC to a football tournament in Alberta
The Show Racism the Red Card team were delighted to receive the following email from our long-standing patron, Gavin Peacock. Since moving to Canada four years ago, Gavin has been a football coach for a local high school soccer team. He has taken action to educate the young people about racism and promote equality, working with the messages of Show Racism the Red Card.
"Friday 8th June was a great day, not just because Euro 2012 kicked off but because Canmore Collegiate High School Soccer team won a regional tournament which made them the League and Zone winners for the first time in their history. You laugh! Well, Canmore (Alberta, Canada) is the place I have lived since leaving the UK in 2008 to pursue some theological studies as I move into full time church ministry. When I arrived, I was asked to coach the High School team for which my son, Jake, played. Unfortunately I noticed a lot of racism in the school league and the underlying problem of prejudice in several of the games we played, in different areas across Southern Alberta. My son was born with one hand and he was an obvious victim from players (...and some parents in one match!). It came to a head this season with one of our Korean players being verbally abused to his face in a match. It has been and is being dealt with and the support of the many messages from players and ex-players in the UK who are connected to SRTRC has been such an encouragement to the young man and has been instructive to the rest of our players.
"As in many instances like these it has raised awareness and on June 8 we hosted the regional zones tournament with a clear anti-racism ethos, which all the teams embraced. They all had their picture taken by a SRtRC banner which was "homemade" by Canmore Collegiate High School. Even the local newspapers picked up on it , all mentioning SRtRC and giving the website in their articles. It was a start; and that is ultimately why it was a great day! Winning the tournament was just the icing on the cake. But our young men learned a bigger lesson; what it is to stand firm for what is right through the medium of football. Racism cannot be tolerated.
"It has been on my heart to bring in some of the teaching of SRtRC which I have been involved with as a patron for many years. And next school year I hope to take SRTRC material into schools and continue the work. As a Christian pastor I know that all people are created in the image of God and for that very fact they should be afforded equal dignity, value and respect. Prejudice and racism is a complete subversion of that. So know this, that when a cause is just it will be fought for, whether that be at a world sporting event, like Euro 2012, or even in a small mountain town in Southern Alberta."