Almost 90 young people from across Bristol take part in anti-racism workshop hosted at the Memorial Stadium
Bristol Rovers FC have already shown this season that they are a club that takes a stand against racism, however last week they opened the doors of the Memorial Stadium to provide local young people with the opportunity to discuss their role in preventing the spread of racism and prejudice.
The club, whose fans used October’s game against Forest Green Rovers to ‘Show Racism the Red Card’, hosted SRtRC at the Memorial Stadium of the annual anti-racism education event.
Young people from Ashley Down Primary and Stoke Park Primary took part an anti-racism workshop lead by SRtRC staff and former Swansea and Cardiff City midfielder & Wales international Steve Jenkins.
The participants were encouraged to think about stereotypes and where they come from, and we asked to consider the impact of their own assumptions and their attitudes towards people. Jenkins helped them to develop a definition of racism and the group worked together to explore how racism makes people feel and what they could do to guard against it.
In anticipation of a mock ‘press conference’ in the afternoon, the young people watched a screening of the Show Racism the Red Card educational film and were encouraged to develop questions to ask to a panel of special guests.
Steve Jenkins was joined on the panel by Bristol Academy goalkeeper Mary Earps, fresh from heroics in the sides Champions League triumph over Barcelona. Mary described her own experiences of racism growing up, as well as providing advice to the young people about what they should do if they ever experience racism.
Representing Bristol Rovers FC was recent signings Lee Mansall and Nathan Blissett. Mansell, who joined the club in the summer spoke passionately about the racism aimed at his cousins when he was a youngster; telling young people how he stood up for them and advising the participants to do the same for their classmates and friends.
New striker Blissett also described his own experiences and explained how welcome he had been made to feel since he joined the club.
The event finished with an autograph signing and all 90 young people left the Memorial Stadium with some new information and a new impetuous to challenge racism.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank all those at Bristol Rovers FC and Rovers in the Community for their ongoing support and proactive approach to education and tackling racism – particularly Adam Tutton of Rovers in the Community. SRtRC would also like to thank the role models from both Bristol Rovers FC and Bristol Academy.