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Anti-Racism in Scottish Youth Football with SYFA club coaches and CWPOs.

SRtRC Scotland were delighted to visit Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie on 3rd May 2023 to deliver anti-racism education to Coaches, Child Wellbeing and Protection Officers, and other Club Officials from SYFA member clubs operating within the local area.

Participants were supported to better understand some of the core concepts of anti-racism. Having undertaken exercises on the topic of bias, stereotyping, gatekeeping, minimization and microaggressions, attendees were challenged to consider how they would embed such elements within their practice.

This was achieved via attendees working in small groups to co-design a response to a racist incident at a youth football club. Through this scenario exercise participants demonstrated a keen awareness of their responsibilities to act decisively to recognise, report and respond to Racism and well as providing meaningfully support to all impacted by any incident.

In addition to developing their comfort and confidence both discussing and being proactive when it comes to racist incidents, participants also considered cultural, structural and system racism and how they can challenge it. Discussions of values, norms, gatekeeping, insider and outsider culture, othering and apathy were all valuable concepts for considering how our clubs can be more accessible to some than others and how best to counteract these barriers to inclusion.

SRtRC Scotland is encouraged by the passion for this subject amongst clubs and heartened by the growth in knowledge and confidence displayed by participants over the course of the programme. Our thanks to the Scottish Youth Football Association and the Scottish Football Partnership Trust for their support for this important project.

We would also like to thank everyone who attended the session, not only for their time but also their contributions to discussion and commitment to the subject area.

All individuals and clubs have a role to play in making Scottish Football actively anti-racist. If you or colleagues from your club would like to attend a future session in your region please contact the SYFA.

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