On Wednesday 6th February 2019, Leicester City FC hosted an educational event for young people from local schools; run by Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) which featured Leicester City FC players Ricardo Pereira and Alex Pascanu, former LCFC player Gerry Taggart and Rt. Hon Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, answering young people’s questions about racism.
The event saw Year 5&6 pupils from Pastures, Launde, Redlands, Stokes Wood, Sandfield Close and Willow Brook Primary Schools, come to the King Power Stadium to take part in workshops exploring racism and stereotypes and hate crime before the Q&A with special guests in the afternoon.
The event was part of a series of educational events organised by Show Racism the Red Card with football clubs in England to educate about racism. LCFC Community Trust and LCFC worked in partnership with SRtRC to organise the event.
SRtRC Chief Executive, Ged Grebby, said “It is great that Leicester City FC and LCFC Community Trust continue to support SRtRC by hosting this kind of educational event. The pupils from local schools really engaged well with the workshops in the morning and were keen to ask members of the panel about their experiences and advice about racism.
“Clubs like Leicester City FC are helping us work with young people in a unique setting, listen to their views and educate about prejudice. We want to make sure if a young person experiences or witnesses racism they know what they can do about it.”
LCFC Community Trust School Sports Officer, Ryan Bromyard, said “LCFC Community Trust have been working in partnership with SRtRC across a number of years. Educational workshops have been carried out to children across Leicester and the content and delivery of the workshops encapsulates the influence a football club can have on conveying such an important message to young people about racism.
“Children leave the workshops with more knowledge and awareness of such important issues within our society reinforced by the LCFC first team, under 23's and ex Leicester City professional footballers, by sharing their personal thoughts and experiences of racism.”
Faith Minister, Lord Bourne added “Everyone has the right to live, work and socialise without feeling intimidated because of their beliefs or the colour of their skin. It is crucial that we challenge all forms of prejudice and bigotry, whenever and wherever it occurs in our society.
“I am pleased that Government support charities like Show Racism the Red Card who stand up against racially motivated crime and educate future leaders on our British values of tolerance and acceptance.”
All the young people were able to get copies of the SRtRC / Leicester City FC poster signed by Ricardo, Alex and Gerry and take away SRtRC goody bags. SRtRC had also provided some T-Shirts and mini-footballs as prizes for the young people who asked the panel’s favourite questions.
The event attracted some press coverage, including in a feature for Sky Sports about racism in football to be broadcast February 11th.
Reflecting on the event, Colin Whyatt, Regional Organiser for GMB Midlands & East Coast region said “Thanks for the invite to the Leicester City FC event. I feel that the day was a huge success with all of the school children engaging in the workshops with the utmost interest and commitment, I am sure they went away with a far more knowledgeable understanding of how to identify and deal with racism should it occur around them.
“As I have previously witnessed last year, again Gav and Ben delivered the workshops in a professional, informative, relaxed and encouraging manner to ensure that they kept the enthusiasm and level of participation from the children to a maximum and of course the venue of the event being held at Leicester City FC supported that.
“I feel that it is vitally important to educate and encourage children from a young age to be confident enough to identify, challenge and stamp out racism at the earliest opportunity and the work that you and the team does is paramount in ensuring that this is their only option. Many thanks to all of your team and all of the staff at LCFC for arranging and delivering a first-class event.”
Lord Bach, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire said “I want to thank Show Racism the Red Card for putting on this inspiring event and LCFC for hosting it with them. It was great to hear the school children ask such intelligent questions, that went to the heart of how evil racism is, whether in football or in wider society. Many congratulations for the work you are doing.”
SRtRC would like to thank Leicester City FC and Leicester City Community Trust for all of their help in organising the event and we look forward to continuing this great partnership work in the future.