The Sunderland Stadium of Light played host to a fantastic day of anti-racism education with young people from across the region.
The Sunderland Stadium of Light played host to a fantastic day of anti-racism education this week with young people from across the region benefitting from anti-racism education from Show Racism the Red Card's education team and the SAFC Foundation.
Pupils from Fulwell Junior School in Sunderland, East Boldon Junior School in South Tyneside and Byers Green Primary School in Spennymoor, County Durham all took part in a carousel of activities in the first part of the day. These were an anti-racism workshop delivered by Laura Pidcock and Lizz Bennett from Show Racism the Red Card, a workshop on racism and bullying delivered by Dan Woolston and Graham Irving from the SAFC Foundation and the third activity was a tour of the Stadium of Light on which participants got to see the team's changing rooms, the media suite and executive boxes.
After lunch, Lizz and Laura delivered a number of activities designed to review and recap the morning's workshops with the whole group before they watched Show Racism the Red Card's educational DVD featuring top international football players. This was followed by a Q&A with an esteemed panel which included former Sunderland AFC captain and BBC Newcastle pundit, Gary Bennett, ex-Newcastle United and Republic of Ireland international, John Anderson, former Middlesbrough FC and England Under-21 left back, Dean Gordon, ex Lyon and Newcastle United defender, Olivier Bernard and Senior Policy Officer in City of Sunderland's Diversity and Inclusion Team, Les Platt.
Questions for the panel included "Why do you work with Show Racism the Red Card?" and "Do you think we'll ever stop racism?"
Jo Wallis from Show Racism the Red Card chose the three best questions and the young people who asked them won Show Racism the Red Card t-shirts and tickets for SAFC's match with Stoke City. Nobody left empty handed as everyone received a goody bag and a Sunderland AFC poster signed by the panel.
Stephen Molyneux, a teacher from Byers Green School emailed the team as soon as he got back to his school to give his thanks: "Just wanting to say a big thank you from us all at Byers Green Primary School. The day which we have just attended was fantastic! All of the staff there were exceptionally helpful and helped to convey the message of what racism is to our pupils. This has since been developed in school in literacy."
Thanks to Kelly Shaw and Andrew Lisgo from SAFC who helped organise the event, Malcolm Hopkins who coordinated the ground tours, Les Platt from City of Sunderland Council who sat on the Q&A panel, Dan and Graham from SAFC Foundation who delivered excellent workshops and all of the young people who took part.