Our first ever event with Welsh Premier League side Port Talbot Town FC
On Thursday the 26th of January, Show Racism the Red Card held an event in association with Port Talbot Football Club to educate over fifty year 5 and 6 pupils from Tywyn Primary School about contemporary issues of race, both in sport and in their community.
In the club’s function room, our education workers Christian Roberts and Chris Stokes, assisted by figures from the club and local community, worked to highlight issues of racism to these young people, providing them with an opportunity to safely ask questions about racial issues, including discussions around stereotyping, the differences between cultures, and appropriate language for discussing race.
The children quickly engaged with the discussion at hand. One child, when asked for the place burgers were invented, suggested ‘Burgeringham!’. Another, when asked which country Justin Bieber was from, replied confidently that he was born in 'Bieberland.’ At other times, the pupils observations were more profound; one boy, when the group was asked why they were being shown a picture of Shaka Hislop, suggested that it was because he is ‘coloured’ - exactly the kind of observation which leads SRTRC to host events like these. In fact, when asked about racial terms, no child raised their hand when asked if they would use the term ‘black’. Almost every child, however, said they would use the term ‘coloured’, and audible gasps could be heard when they were told that the term was very disrespectful. Given the children’s high level of engagement, it was unsurprising that they seemed to enjoy the day, describing it variously as ‘excellent’, ‘awesome’, ‘really fun’ and, perhaps with a hint of hyperbole, by one child as ‘the best day I ever had.’
The event also received positive responses from the adults present. Tim Richards, one of the teachers at Tywyn School, said: ‘it’s a very well presented and run day, and with recent events in the premiership it’s apt to have an event like this for our pupils.’
Sian Thomas, also a teacher, observed: ‘it’s surprising to see how much the children actually know.
They all seem to be enjoying the day and are learning to participate and share their ideas in a safe environment.’ Police School’s Liason Officer Ian Wozencroft, who has close ties to the club, assisted the organisation’s staff with a question and answer session and after the event stressed the need for this kind of work in the local community.
We interviewed Ian after the event about his thoughts on the event and the importance of educating young people about racism which can be viewed HERE
Show Racism’s coach, Christian, struck upon a similar note when answering a student’s question about why racism was such an important issue. He asked the pupils: ‘Have you ever lost a loved one?’ (most of the room raised their hands.) ‘People lose their lives all the time because others decide that they don’t like the way they are. People dying because of racism is something that we can’t accept. That’s why we have to do as much as we can to educate people about it.’
Prize winners won SRtRC goodie bags and match tickets for Port Talbot Town FC.
We will continue to work with the club in the near future.
To view photos from the event click HERE