Young people from Northumberland, Gateshead, North Tyneside and Newcastle schools took part.
Newcastle players Vurnon Anita and Mike Williamson teamed up with former NUFC player and SRtRC Honorary Patron, Olivier Bernard to answer questions from Year 6, 7 and 8 pupils about racism, Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic (HBT) bullying and discrimination. The question and answer session was the highlight of this educational event, attended by pupils from Hawthorne Primary School, Corbridge Middle School, Beaconhill Primary School and Joseph Swan Academy.
In the morning the young people took part in a carousel of workshops about stereotypes and racism, HBT Bullying and language delivered by Show Racism the Red Card. The third workshop was a tour of St James’ Park, participants got to see behind the scenes, including the changing rooms and pitchside.
The participants engaged with the activities throughout the workshops and came back together in the Moncur Suite for lunch and a screening of the Homophobia: Let’s Tackle It film.
At 13.15 the afternoon session began with a quick recap of the morning’s learning and an introduction to the SRtRC film. Following this screening Olivier, Mike and Vurnon were introduced to excitement and warm applause from the young people.
The question and answer session produced some brilliant questions from the pupils and the answers from the panel were considered and included personal experiences and advice. SRtRC provided some prizes of T-Shirts and mini-footballs for the panel’s favourite questions of the afternoon which came from
Hugh (Corbridge Middle) “If you could go back in time how would you stop racism?”
Michael (Joseph Swan) “Have you ever been bullied?”
Molly (Beaconhill) “Why are black people treated differently to white people?”
All of the participants were able to get an autograph from the players and take home a SRtRC goody bag including magazine and wristband.
A big thank you to NUFC, Vurnon, Mike and Olivier for taking part and of course to the young people and schools for attending. Special thanks are due to Mark Hannen for helping to organise the event and to students from Gateshead College TV and Film course for filming throughout the day.