On Tuesday 19th March, Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) held an educational event at Bloomfield Road, home of Blackpool Football Club (BFC). The campaign worked in partnership with BFC and Blackpool FC Community Trust to educate local young people about the dangers of racism. 120 young people from two local primary schools attended the event which saw the Year 5/6’s take part in an educational workshop, watch the SRtRC educational film and then take part in a ‘Press Conference’ with a panel of special guests.
Young people from two local schools arrived at Bloomfield Road and headed to the ‘Mathews Suite’ where they would spend the remainder of the afternoon. After a quick introduction to the afternoon the young people went into an 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.
Ashley Hackett, Blackpool FC Community Trust Chief Executive, sat on the panel to answer questions from the audience. Joining Ashley was the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Chris Webb. Former Premier League and Scotland International, Chris Iwelumo, also joined the panel to answer questions from the young people. 1st team manager, Terry McPhillips, and 1st team player at Blackpool FC, Nathan Delfouneso, took the time out of their day to attend the event and sit on the panel.
Young people from each school put forward a variety of questions to the panel regarding racism. Why did racism start? Why are there different skin colours? When did racism become illegal? How can we stop racism? These were just a few examples of the questions that the panel were taking it in turn to answer. The panel shared personal stories of 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. Blackpool FC kindly donated a match tickets as an additional prize for the best question asked to the panel.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at Blackpool Football Club for their support in organising the event and a special thank you to Jason White who made the event possible. The power of role-models to educate young people should never be underestimated, therefore, a massive thank you to Ashley, Chris, Chris, Terry and Nathan. 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.