On the 8th of November, Leyton Orient Trust in collaboration Show Racism The Red Card hosted an inspiring anti-racism educational event at Brisbane Road, home of Leyton Orient Football Club. This event brought together over 90 local school pupils from year 6, including students from St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School and Bancroft Primary School to educate and empower these young minds to combat racism.
The students participated in two workshops, Show Racism The Red Card conducted an anti-racism workshop, fostering discussions and providing tools to recognise and challenge racism. The Leyton Orient Trust delivered a stereotyping workshop further encouraged the students to think critically about stereotypes and their impact.
As an added bonus, the young participants were treated to an all-access areas tour of the Leyton Orient stadium, which offered a unique insight into the world of professional football, a tour of the changing rooms and the opportunity to walk out of players tunnel onto the pitch side!
Following the stadium tour, the students were joined by a remarkable panel of first team players from the men’s, women’s, and academy teams. They included Dan Agyei, Jayden Sweeney, Idris El Mizouni, Aaron Archibald, Reece Jhuti, Shona Chitate, and Charlotte Lynch. Completing the panel were Leyton Orient Trusts Primary Schools Coach Reni Sheikh and Anisa Mahmood, founder and chair of the Anti-Islamophobia Working Group.
During the Q+A session, the pupils had the opportunity to ask questions about the players’ experiences in football and how they would challenge racism on and off the pitch. The panel also offered advice on being an ally in the fight against racism and provided valuable insights into their own journeys. There was even time at the end of session for an autograph session!
Paul Hill, SRtRC Regional Manager for the South, expressed his enthusiasm about the event, saying, “This event exemplifies the power of education and community collaboration in eradicating racism from our society. It’s inspiring to see young minds engage so passionately in the fight against racism.”
Jack Cunningham, SRtRC Educator who led the anti-racism workshop, noted, “I was deeply impressed by the level of engagement and thoughtfulness exhibited by the pupils. They asked insightful questions and actively participated in our workshops, which reflects the positive impact of events like these held at football clubs”.
We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Taylor Wimpey for generously sponsoring this event and partnering with Show Racism The Red Card and the Leyton Orient Trust.
The partnership with Taylor Wimpey highlights their commitment in driving positive change in the community and their sponsorship of the event demonstrated the potential football has to serve as a platform for education, inclusivity, and the fight against racism but also inspires young pupils to be active agents of change to bring communities together.