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Sunderland FC Show Racism the Red Card, November 8th 2011

Local primary school children enjoyed a full day of anti-racism activities at the Stadium of Light

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Photograph: Sunderland Echo

Report by Emily Rudd

100 young people from Woodlea Primary School in Durham, Highfield Primary School in Sunderland and
St Gregory’s Primary in Sunderland took part in a rotation of educational anti-racism workshop sessions and activities at the Stadium of Light. This included two workshops run by Show Racism the Red Card staff. The first focussed on how judging people on their appearance is the first step towards racism and the second explored how racism is defined with a detective-based game ‘Racist or not racist.’ The young people also took part in a ground tour of the Stadium of Light which included the executive boxes, Magic Moments bar, the player’s lounge, the changing rooms, the Media suite and finally the tunnel leading onto the pitch accompanied by the player’s entrance music - to much excitement!

After lunch the morning’s session was recapped by the Show Racism the Red Card team, followed by a game led by former Newcastle player Olivier Bernard. The group then watched Show Racism the Red Card's educational DVD featuring top international football players and were tested with a set of questions to answer in relation to the film. This was then followed by a Q and A session with an esteemed panel which included Show Racism the Red Card's coaches: Gary Bennett, John Anderson, Olivier Bernard and Trevor Benjamin. Of course, Sunderland legend Gary received the biggest cheer as he took to the panel!

The young people were delighted when current Sunderland players David Meyler and Fraizer Campbell also joined the panel, taking questions from the young people about racism. 

Six pairs of football tickets were up for grabs for the most thought provoking questions asked by the pupils, along with a goody bag featuring a mini football for the top three. Serena asked, “In a match has racism ever made you lose hope and has your confidence dropped?” Another excellent question asked by Cory was, “Have you ever been racist yourself or received racism from your own team?”

None of the pupils left empty handed as everyone received a Show Racism the Red Card goody bag as well as a Sunderland Football Club poster signed by Frazier and David.

At the end of the day the children played a game that involved giving their feedback on the day out of ten. Not a single pupil scored the day lower than seven out of ten which was excellent news for the Show Racism the Red Card staff team.

Media students from Sunderland University filmed the event - look out for footage soon!

Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone who helped organise this fantastic event, especially Andrew Lisgo, Kelly Shaw and Michael who supported us on the day.

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