On Tuesday 17th November the SRtRC campaign team were at the Riverside Stadium for a full-day educational event
“We have worked with SRtRC for many years and we always receive positive feedback about the sessions they deliver, here at The Riverside Stadium. It is important for the Foundation to support the great work that SRtRC do in the community and we hope by using the football club as an engagement tool we are able help SRtRC achieve their goal in eradicating racism.”
Helena Pinder, Head of MFC Foundation
On Tuesday 17th November, Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) held an educational event at the Riverside Stadium and worked in partnership with Middlesbrough F.C to educate local young people about the dangers of racism. Over 85 young people from local primary schools attended the event which saw the Year 5/6’s take part in a carousel of workshops. John Emmerson Batty, Handale and Abingdon Primary were the schools that took part in three different workshops.
The first of the workshops was led by Campaign Worker, James Kingett, from SRtRC who delivered a workshop which made young people explore stereotypes and think critically about the way in which we stereotype. The young people engaged in thoughtful and honest conversation with their peers about the dangers of stereotyping.
The second workshop which was on offer, was again, a workshop run by a SRtRC Education Worker Rosie Ferries. Rosie led a workshop which helped young people define racism, how someone can suffer racism and through a game of true or false helped crack some myths regarding racism in everyday life. Rosie, an experienced Education Worker led an insightful discussion through the brilliant use of questioning.
Ground tours were the third workshop on offer during the day which gave the young people a well-deserved stretch of the legs and a chance to view the 35,000 seat stadium. The young people got to enter both the home and away dressing room, the press office and sit in the executive seats.
After lunch the young people reflected on the workshops from the morning and spoke about the key issues which had been discussed. The young people further developed their understanding of racism by watching the 22-minute Show Racism the Red Card educational film, which provides an excellent introduction to the subject of racism.
Throughout the day the young people had been asked to start thinking of questions that they would like to ask the panel of special guests at the end of the day. With suspicion building among the young people of who might be attending the Q&A it was time to introduce the panel. Barry Coppinger the Cleveland Police Crime Commissioner who funds a great deal of the work carried out in school, clubs and teacher training events sat on the panel to answer questions from young people. Also joining Barry on the panel was Linda Hughes from Unite the Union who is the NEYH Union Learning Organiser. Also adding to the panel was Marrie Weiczorek who is better known at Middlesbrough F.C as ‘Maz’. Maz has managed MFC Ladies for twenty years as a player and a manager and is currently Chair of MFC Ladies. Two former Middlesbrough players Craig Hignett and Curtis Fleming who combined have played for the club over 400 times came down to the Riverside Stadium to contribute to the Q&A session. To round off an already excellent panel were two Middlesbrough F.C first team players, the first was Dimitrious ‘Dimi’ Konstanopoulos who has played at international level for Greece, and before joining Middlesbrough, had played at Hartlepool and Coventry. The second current Middlesbrough player in attendance was Stewart Downing who started his career at Middlesbrough before going on to play for Aston Villa, Liverpool and West Ham before returning to the Riverside. Downing has also played at international level, representing England 35 times.
Young people from each primary school put forward a variety of questions to the panel regarding racism. How did racism start? Have you ever heard or experienced racism? Has anybody you know suffered from racism? Were just a few examples of the questions that the panel were taking it in turn to answer. The current and former players shared gripping stories with the audience regarding their experience of racism in the game. The other panel members provided brilliant advice for the young people on how to report racism and what each person can do to tackle racism.
A signed football and signed Middlesbrough F.C shirt were generously donated by Middlesbrough F.C and were given to a pupil from Abingdon Primary, Haseeb, for asking the best question on the day.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at Middlesbrough F.C for their support in organising the event, a special thanks to Dianne O’Connell for all her help and continued support. Once again a big thank you to Barry Coppinger for his continued support of the campaign and for giving SRtRC the opportunity to carry out educational work in the area. The campaign would also like to thank Marrie Wieczorek and Linda Hughes for taking the time to sit on the panel and answer questions from the young people. The power of role-models to educate young people should never be underestimated, therefore, a massive thank you to Curtis Flemming, Craig Hignett, Dimitrious Konstantopoulos and Stewart Downing. And finally, Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank all the young people for their honest engagement from start to finish.