On Thursday 8th March, Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) held an educational event at the John Smith’s stadium, home of Huddersfield Town AFC (HTAFC). The campaign worked in partnership with HTAFC and the Town Foundation to educate local young people about the dangers of racism. 90 young people from local primary schools attended the event which saw the Year 5/6’s take part in an educational workshops, watch the SRtRC educational film and then take part in a ‘Press Conference’ with a panel of special guests.
Young people from three local schools arrived at the John Smith’s stadium and headed to the ‘Fantastic Media Suite’. After a quick introduction to the day the young people were split into two groups. Group 1 began the day with a tour of the John Smith’s stadium. While group 2 took part in an educational workshop conducted by the Abbi and Katie from the Town Foundation. The workshop allowed young people to explore the term identity, what made up their own personal identity and what makes up other people’s identities. After an hour on each workshop the young people swapped over meaning that everyone had the chance to take part in both the morning workshops. After lunch, the young people took part in another educational workshop which was conducted by Campaign Worker, Ben Holman, from SRtRC. The workshop made young people explore stereotypes, define racism, and think critically about the way in which we stereotype. The young people engaged in thoughtful and honest conversation with their peers about the dangers of stereotyping, identity, and racism.
The young people further developed their understanding by watching the brand new 22-minute Show Racism the Red Card educational film, which provides an excellent introduction to the subject of racism.
The young people had been asked throughout the afternoon to start thinking of questions that they would like to ask the panel of special guests and with suspicion building among the young people of who might be attending the Q&A it was time to introduce the panel.
Abbi Andiyapan, Head of Inclusion and Health at the Town Foundation sat on the panel to answer questions from the audience. Joining Abbi were three players from Huddersfield Town AFC 1st team. Demeaco Duhaney, Erik Durm and Tommy Smith all took the time our of their day to attend the event and speaking with the young people.
Young people from each school put forward a variety of questions to the panel regarding racism. What do you think of racism and how would you stop it? Have you ever suffered racism yourself? What would you do if someone posted on social media racist comments about you? Have you ever seen racism o the football pitch yourself? These were just a few examples of the questions that the panel were taking it in turn to answer. The panel explained to the young people what they should do if they experience racism and who they can report it to. The panel also shared personal stories how they have individually suffered racism, how it made them feel and what they did about it at the time. Prizes were given out to the three best questions asked to the panel. HTAFC kindly donated a football signed by the 1st team as an additional prize for the best question asked to the panel.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at Huddersfield Town AFC for their support in organising the event and a special thank you to Abbi Adiyapan who made the event possible. The power of role-models to educate young people should never be underestimated, therefore, a massive thank you to Abbi, Tommy, Demeaco and Erik. A big thank you to the Professional Footballers Association who continue to support the work of Show Racism the Red Card and make events like this possible. And finally, Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank all the young people for their honest engagement from start to finish.