SRtRC returned to Home Park for a full-day educational event, which included special appearances from PAFC players, Luke McCormick, Robert te Loeke, Lionel Ainsworth and Argyle Ladies’, Michaela Phillips. The players answered questions from the young people during a Q&A session about racism and hate crime.
In the morning young people from St Peter’s RC Primary School, Woodford Primary School and Shakespeare Primary School came to the stadium to take part in a carousel of workshops which included one focussed on racism and stereotypes, an exploration of what Hate Crime is and what we can do about it and a tour of Home Park.
The young people engaged with all the sessions really well and thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the stadium. After a break for lunch, there was a screening of the SRtRC film, which helped participants to think of some excellent questions for the panel.
After the Q&A, the players signed autographs for all the young people and chose their favourite questions of the afternoon, the winners of which received SRtRC T-Shirts and mini-footballs. The event was filmed by ITV in the region, who interviewed club captain Luke McCormick and Lionel Ainsworth, as well as some of the young people.
The event was part of a series of fifteen educational events with football clubs in England to educate about hate crime as part of a project supported by Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which will also include educational work in schools and teacher training.
The event was also supported by long-term sponsors of SRtRC, Plymouth City Council, who have also sponsored the production of SRtRC Plymouth Argyle FC posters for free distribution.
Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said:
“On behalf of Plymouth City Council, I’m delighted to support Show Racism the Red Card for another year. Racism of all forms should not be tolerated and children need to learn it’s simply not acceptable.
“Plymouth Argyle’s footballers are role models with huge influence over young people across the city. They are well placed to spread the message that racism has no place in Plymouth – either on the football field or in any other walk of life.”
Argyle Community Trust Manager Mark Lovell said: “We are delighted to host this Show Racism the Red Card event here at Home Park.
“As a Trust, and a football club, we provide ourselves on accessibility and inclusivity across all areas of what we do as an organisation. Football is the world game and a fantastic sport for everyone to enjoy.
“While we are proud of the work we do in the community to raise awareness on the issue of racism in the game and proud of the progress being made, this is no time to be complacent.”
Plymouth Argyle has worked with the campaign consistently over many years to educate about racism.
SRtRC Chief Executive, Ged Grebby, said “SRtRC can now build on our work to educate about Hate Crime with this project and it comes at a time when it is definitely needed. After the EU referendum, many police forces reported a spike in hate crime and hate incidents, a 41% rise in the month following the vote.
“Clubs like Plymouth Argyle are helping us work with young people in a unique setting, listen to their views and educate about prejudice. We want to make sure if a young person experiences or witnesses a hate crime they know who they can turn to, but also to think about how a person could get to the point where they commit a hate crime.”