Anti-racism workshops and sporting activities to be delivered to ten partnership schools throughout London borough
“Show Racism the Red Card has always enjoyed fantastic support from West Ham United but this new joint project takes us to another level, by combining the knowledge and expertise of our Educators, the Foundation coaches and of course ex-West Ham Legend, Leroy Rosenior, to help children in the area stay safe and lead healthy lifestyles.
Steve Goodsell, Regional Manager for the South of England, Show Racism the Red Card
Last week, Show Racism the Red Card launched Stop the Hate; a new educational initiative delivered in partnership with West Ham United Foundation and Barking & Dagenham Council.
The project will see anti-racism education delivered in 10 schools throughout the borough in the form of introductory and follow-up workshop programmes either side of an educational visit to the historic Boleyn Ground, home of West Ham United FC, in the final season before the Club move to the Olympic Stadium.
The aim of the programme is to challenge stereotypes and prejudice towards groups including Muslims and people with Eastern European heritage, encouraging students to explore the benefits of an inclusive, community-focused environment.
Much of the educational delivery will be carried out by Show Racism the Red Card Ambassador Leroy Rosenior, one of West Ham Utd’s first Black players, and now a leading TV pundit on SKY and the BBC. Sporting activities which encourage health & wellbeing, fair play and participation will also be delivered by a team of coaches from the West Ham United Foundation.
Rosenior was quick to praise West Ham’s forward thinking when it comes to dealing with discrimination.
“There’s always been a strong link with communities and football clubs but what West Ham is doing in this area is unique. The people who live here, the mix of different cultures, they’ve lived together brilliantly, but we know that can come under threat from certain organisations and their way of thinking which is wholly negative.
“It’s about embracing cultures and a Club like West Ham has always done that. The Club has always been positive with supporting black players and on the coaching staff. I think Clubs are realizing that they have a big responsibility. I think a lot of Clubs like to pretend they aren’t responsible for what happens outside the football ground but West Ham know they have a duty and that’s why I’m so delighted they have such a forward thinking board of directors and a forward thinking organisation, it’s not just to tick boxes.
“I find that really inspiring and I think our job as a football Club isn’t just to get fans through the door and buy players, it’s to inspire people to do great things in the local community and that’s what this project is all about.”
Steve Goodsell, Show Racism the Red Card Campaign Manager, was delighted to see the programme launched to new heights.
“Show Racism the Red Card has always enjoyed fantastic support from West Ham United but this new joint project takes us to another level, by combining the knowledge and expertise of our Educators, the Foundation coaches and of course ex-West Ham Legend, Leroy Rosenior, to help children in the area stay safe and lead healthy lifestyles. We are grateful to Barking and Dagenham Council for lending their support to this much needed initiative”
Darren Rodwell, Councillor for Barking and Dagenham thought the combination of the three organisations working on this project was a recipe for success.
“I think it’s massively important for football Clubs to tackle racism and West Ham has led the way for many years. It’s always been a family club and what’s great about families is they’re always expanding. That’s what you’ve seen in the borough today, with over 130 different cultures now living in Barking and Dagenham and it’s great to have West Ham as a family member and ally and saying to our young people, ‘We may be different, but actually we’re all the same, we’re one big family.’
“We won’t hide from our history, we had some very dark times between 2006-10, we actually had the far right on the council in formal opposition and it was the first time in the UK that that had happened, so I got very active as a local resident with a number of organisations and Show Racism the Red Card was one of those and we wanted to develop that. With West Ham being such a multi-cultural club, the players, the fans, it absolutely makes sense that we all link up and carry on the great success we’ve had over the years”
The launch event came as part of a wider string of programmes with SRtRC and Barking and Dagenham Council, which will see the Foundation engaging with a number of schools across the borough. The schools workshops will be targeted at areas determined by Barking and Dagenham Local Authority, or where the local police feel issues may need to be addressed.
Introductory work has already been carried out at two of the ten partnership schools, Northbury Primary and Gascoigne Primary, with further delivery planned over the coming months. A gallery of images from the launch event of the Stop the Hate programme with SRtRC, West Ham United Foundation and Barking & Dagenham Council, and subsequent workshops can be viewed here.
Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) works tirelessly to deliver anti-racism education in schools through creative and engaging exploration of the subject. Schools report that following SRtRC led workshops pupils show a much greater understanding of the issues around racism and discrimination. SRtRC have been a charity since 1996 working with 50,000 young people each year.
The West Ham United Foundation (WHUF) has been providing community out-reach programmes for 25 years, working with schools on health school intervention, providing match day experiences and increasing access to all to community sports. The Foundation is acknowledged as one of the best in the Premier league and the community it serves.