The sixteenth annual competition showcases the anti-racism work of young people throughout England
The Awards Ceremony for Show Racism the Red Card’s (SRtRC) National School Competition 2016 took place at West Ham United FC’s historic Boleyn Ground last week, and prominent figures on and off the pitch were among those keen to reward the hard work and creativity of young people throughout England.
West Ham United first team players Sam Byram and Reece Oxford were Guests of Honour at the event and were involved in presenting prizes to young people in a variety of different age groups and categories.
Also representing the Hammers was Joint Chairman David Gold, who presented prizes to winners in the Year 10+ Artwork & Creative Writing category.
The sixteenth annual awards were once again supported by funding from long term campaign supporters the National Union of Teachers (NUT), UNISON, Unite the Union, The Football Association (FA), the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), Potts Print UK and Durham County Council.
Following entries from thousands of young people from hundreds of different schools, the winners from each category travelled from throughout England to visit the iconic venue, in what for many was a final opportunity to see the famous stadium before the club’s move to the Olympic Stadium in the summer.
On arrival at the Boleyn, young people were directed to the Legends Suite, where they were greeted by entertainment in the form of cheerleading, balloon modelling and football freestyling. The young people wasted no time in joining in, demonstrating their own skills with balloons, footballs and pom poms alike.
The awards themselves were presented by TV personality Lisa Rogers and former West Ham United forward and TV pundit Leroy Rosenior, who opened up proceedings recognising the campaign’s twentieth anniversary and paying tribute to the quality and quantity of anti-racism education delivered throughout the two decades.
West Ham United’s Sam Byram and Reece Oxford were joined on the stage by two Guests of Honour from the women’s professional game, Chelsea & England forward Gemma Davison and West Ham United captain Katie Bottom. Completing the line up was Assistant Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association and ex West Ham player, Bobby Barnes.
Together with a variety of guest presenters, they then set about awarding prizes to winners from a variety of age groups in categories including artwork, creative writing and multimedia.
In addition, a special prize was awarded for the best peice of work to tackle Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia which was part of a one year projected delivered by Show Racism the Red Card during the year.
Alongside Joint Chairman David Gold, guest presenters included UNISON Assistant General Secretary Roger McKenzie, UNISON President Eric Roberts, Clive Efford MP, Stuart Williams from NUT Cyrmru, West Ham Ladies Natalie Strange, Shaun Dellenty of Inclusion for All and Susan Jackson, CEO of the Crystal Palace Study Centre. We were also delighted to be joined by Rakesh Patel from Thompson’s Solicitors, Kim Green from OH Parsons, Jeff Cole from Islington Council, Terry Angus and Simone Pound from the PFA,the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Sade Bright, Joe Lyons from the West Ham Community Foundation, Scott McGleish and ex West Ham player Anwar Uddin.
Fittingly, having launched this year’s competition in November 2015, Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan MP was on hand to show his support for the campaign once again and to thank all of the winners for helping to inspire others with the power and quality of their messages.
The third, second and third placed winners were each presented with winning certificates and England shirts provided by awards sponsors the Football Association, as well as the shirt of their chosen club side. In addition, a variety of additional prizes were secured from campaign supporters Leicester City FC, Crystal Palace FC, Tottenham Hotspurs FC and Derby County FC who provided signed balls and stadium or training facility tours.
The awards were drawn to a close by Christine Blower, General Secretary of the NUT, who was attending her 10th consecutive Awards Ceremony. The campaign paid tribute to the support from the NUT and from Christine herself, before she announced the overall winners of the Show Racism the Red Card National School Competition 2016; Hexthorpe Primary School, Doncaster for their extraordinary film about the life of pioneering black sportsman Arthur Wharton.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank all of the young people and teachers who took part in this year’s competition; the quality and spirit of the entries was magnificent and an inspiration to us all. Special thanks go to the winners who were chosen from thousands of others to receive their awards.
Special thanks also go to all of those who took part in the award ceremony including West Ham United’s Sam Byram and Reece Oxford, Joint Chairman David Gold, Chelsea and England’s Gemma Davison and West Ham Ladies players Katie Bottom and Natalie Strange.
Thanks to sponsors and campaign supporters the National Union of Teachers (NUT), UNISON, Unite the Union, The Football Association (FA), the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) Potts Print UK and Durham County Council for their ongoing support.