League two club welcome primary school children for safe and responsible discussion of racism in society.
Over 120 young people from nearby Ashley Down Primary School arrived at the Memorial Stadium to take part in a number of specially arranged anti-racism activities, including a workshop through which the dangers of assumptions and stereotyping are highlighted.
The young people were given a safe space in which they were able to discuss their understanding of racism and explore some of the questions they had around the issue, the use of appropriate language and what to do if they experience racism within their communities.
The event was opened by Gillian Douglas of Safer Bristol, speaking on behalf of Bristol City Council, who explained the role of Safer Bristol in protecting communities in the city, and empowered the young people to consider their role in tackling racism and intolerance.
The Show Racism the Red Card anti-racism workshop was concluded with discussion of a working definition of racism before the young people enjoyed a screening of the Show Racism the Red Card education film, which features high profile footballers and young people who have taken part in anti-racism workshops, discussing the history of racism and the negative impact that it can have.
The young people in attendance then become ‘journalists for the day’ by posing their questions on racism to a special panel of guests including Bristol Rovers first team players and under 21 internationals Ellis Harrison and Seanan Clucas, Bristol Academy WFC and Wales’ Natasha Harding and Gillian Douglas of Safer Bristol.
The children from years five and six developed and asked some fantastic questions including ‘Why has racism become such a problem in the world?’ and ‘If you could only take one part of racism away, what would it be?’, with prizes awarded to the three best questions of the day as selected by the panel.
Natasha Harding described the moment one of her team mates was racially abused by an opposing player, and explained what she and her teammates did to support them, whilst Northern Ireland under 21 midfielder Seanan Clucas encouraged the young people to report racism to an adult, whether it be on the football pitch, in their classroom or within their local communities.
All of the young people left the event with a goody bag containing the Show Racism the Red Card magazine and a wristband thanks to the support from Bristol City Council, and more importantly, returned to school with a better understanding of racism and their role in preventing it.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at Bristol Rovers F.C for helping to make the event such a success, especially Adam Tutton, Head of Education at Bristol Rovers.
Thanks also go out to Bristol City Council for their generous and dedicated support, with special thanks to Gillian Douglas for opening the event and taking part in the panel.