Club host annual anti-racism education event attended by over 80 young people from schools across Bolton.
Bolton Wanderers FC held their annual anti-racism education event in partnership with Show Racism the Red Card at the Macron Stadium this week; building on the successful events delivered over previous seasons.
Over 80 young people from Chorley New Road Primary School, St Ethelbert’s Primary and St Michaels CE arrived at the stadium's 'Lions of Vienna' suite to take part in a range of anti-racism educational workshops and enjoy a ground tour.
As part of a new initiative, the young people were asked to become journalists for the day, taking notes and recording information from their workshops in order to produce a ‘newspaper-style’ article containing some of the key messages from the event.
The young people took part in a workshop entitled ‘Exploring stereotypes, prejudice and racism’ delivered by staff from Show Racism the Red Card where they were challenged to consider the assumptions and judgements that are made naturally in the absence of information and to discuss the best ways to treat people fairly and equally.
Also delivering a workshop at the event was PFA commissioned artist Colin Yates who explored the themes of identity and humanity through an interactive, art-based workshop.
Staff from Bolton Wanderers Community Trust also led the young people in a tour of the Macron Stadium which included a visit to the dressing rooms and some time pitch side.
After lunch, the young people watched a screening of the SRtRC education film, taking more notes for their articles and preparing questions to ask as part of the afternoon’s mock ‘press conference’. They were invited to put questions about the issue of racism to a panel of special guests, with the chance to win a SRtRC T-shirt and mini football if selected as one of the top three questions from the press conference.
Charged with the difficult task of answering the young peoples questions were Bolton Wanderers Ladies players Charlotte Walsh and Hannah Pendlebury; taking part in their first SRtRC event. Charlotte and Hannah were joined by Wanderers legend and new Community Trust ambassador Tony Kelly who had a unique story to tell thanks in part to his association with the final panel guest, former Liverpool winder Howard Gayle.
Tony had been Howard’s apprentice at Liverpool during the early 80s and revealed that Howard, the first black player to play for the club, had educated him about racism. “I am ashamed to say I made a comment to Howard once, but I was amazed by his reaction. He took me to one side and explained to me why what I had said to him was wrong. He educated me about the issue and went on to be a massive inspiration to me. I owe him everything.”
The above is just one of a number of fantastic messages provided by the Q + A session, during which the young people asked some brilliant and insightful questions. The best questions as selected by the panel included Kavina (St Ethelberts) who asked, ‘Why does racism have such a big impact on peoples lives?’ and Maliaka from St Michaels whose question was ‘If you suffer racism, how should you react if you are on your own?’ The best question of the day as selected by the panel came from Chorley New Road Primary’s Molly who asked ‘If you have ever been racist towards someone, what can you do to make things right?’
The session closed with autographs and photo opportunities and the young people will now go back to school to complete their articles for the chance to win complimentary tickets to a Wanderers home game which were generously donated by the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone involved for contributing to wards such a productive and inspiring day, as well as everyone at the club and the Community Trust for their continued support for the campaign.