Hammers continue to challenge racism through anti racism education event for young people from local schools at Boleyn Ground
Over 60 young people from St Edwards Primary and Brampton Primary schools descended on the Hammer’s Press Suite to take part in a range of anti-racism educational activities and to question a panel of guests about the issue of racism.
Former professional footballer and SRtRC Education Worker Osei Sankofa lead the young people in a discussion about perceptions, stereotypes and assumptions; helping them to develop a working definition of racism and to explore issues including appropriate terminology and the impact of discrimination.
Pia Tanneraho, WHU Learning Zone & Newham Playing for Success Manager lead a workshop on behalf of the club, which explored the different nationalities of the West Ham United squad and encouraged the young people to recognise the benefits of multiculturalism.
Those in attendance were also given a tour of the club’s historic Boleyn Ground by West Ham United Staff.
We were also fortunate to be joined by governement minister Stephen Williams MP from the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG). The DCLG have funded anti-racism education projects for SRtRC in the past and Mr Williams MP came to observe the event.
After eating their lunch in the stands just behind the dugouts, the young people watched the Show Racism the Red Card educational film, which features professional footballers and young people from across the country discussing the history of racism and the effect that it has on people.
Armed with questions about the issue prepared during the day, the young people became ‘journalists’ for the afternoon by taking part in a unique Q + A session with a panel of guests.
Former Charlton Athletic fullback Osei Sankofa was joined on the panel by Show Racism the Red Card’s Chief Executive Ged Grebby. Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union for Teachers (NUT) also took part, both as a passionate anti-racism campaigner in her own right, but also as a representative of the union which has supported the SRtRC campaign for a number of years.
Joseph Lyons, Head of Community at West Ham United Community Sports Trust also joined the panel to represent the club and provide a perspective on West Ham United’s approach to challenging discrimination and fostering a spirit of equality.
The young people from St Edwards Primary and Brampton Primary schools asked some insightful and inspirational questions and prizes were awarded for the best questions of the day, as selected by the panel.
The winning questions included What is the most important thing to remember if you suffer from Racism? How does Racism affect the community as a whole? What should you do if someone has been racist to you, you report it to a teacher but the same person does it again?
The panel decided that the best question of the day came from Lucas, who askedHave you ever tried to learn a different culture but told you couldn’t because of your colour or race?’
With the event drawing to a close, West Ham United striker and Portuguese international Ricardo Vaz Te arrived to endorse the message of Show Racism the Red Card and to sign autographs for the young people who had engaged so brilliantly throughout the day.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at West Ham United for hosting such an important and memorable day, especially Joseph Lyons and Pia Tanneraho. The campaign is also grateful to Ricardo Vaz Te for giving up his time to help close the event.
Thanks also go to General Secretary Christine Blower and the whole of the NUT for their ongoing support.
A final thanks you to the young people and teachers from St Edwards Primary and Brampton Primary schools for their honesty, enthusiasm and hard work.