In total, 120 children from 4 Nottingham schools attended the event, which saw Year 5 and Year 6 pupils take part in a range of workshops, watch a screening of the SRtRC educational film featuring Notts County’s own Shola Ameobi and take part in a Q&A session with Shola himself alongside the midfielder Liam Noble.
Joining on the panel of special guests were also former players Jason Lee, now Equalities Education Executive at Professional Football Association (PFA) and Kevin George, Show Racism the Red Card.
Young people from each school put forward a range of questions to the panel regarding racism. Prizes, including a Notts County FC shirt and NCFC pencil cases, were given out to the three best questions asked to the panel. The panel’s favourite question “Who and what started racism?” went to Lexi from Springbank primary school.
After the session, the prize-winners were invited to have photos with the first team players and other guests on the panel. All children attending also received a goody bag from SRtRC, Notts County FC and FITC.
Marie Shaw, teacher from Springbank primary school, commented: “We did some preparation beforehand because we’re from a very British white background school so some of my children didn’t know much about racism. So we looked at the Powerpoint from the Show Racism the Red Card resources and actually coming here today they’ve got lots more questions to ask and having that previous knowledge meant that they could understand the concept and it also made them more curious about the event.
“I think it’s a really good event. I like the fact that it’s linked to their interests, which made it a lot more appealing and they were really excited about meeting the footballers and it just makes the whole experience more memorable for the children,” she added.
Notts County’s Shola Ameobi said: “Being part of football for 20 odd years and seeing how racism has been dealt with especially in the sport of football has shown that these kind of events are important.
County have done a lot of things in the community that have had a positive influence on various groups of people and I’m glad I’m in a position where I’m able to lend a hand and help educate young people. A lot of it stems of ignorance so the more we can get the word out, the more likely racism will be eradicated and we should keep investing in educating young children about things like racism.”
Jason Lee, added: “These young people are the future – we have to explain to people their roles and responsibilities. Young people are not born racists, no one is born racist, but people are influenced by their peers and other people as they get older. So the sooner and the earlier we can get to talk to them and help them understand how they should behave – then hopefully we can get racism eradicated moving forward.”
FITC’s Primary School Project Manager, Zara Lund, said: “This event has been a great opportunity to use the power of the football club to discuss the topic of racism. Raising awareness of why racism is happening and how to prevent it using engaging content, which ensures that young people understand that we’re all equal, whatever our skin colour.”