On Thursday 4th April, Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust welcomed the Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) organisation to the club where they held an educational event for local secondary school children, which was supported by Chairboys player Marcus Bean.
A total of 60 young people from Cressex Community School and Wexham Secondary School attended the event which saw the Year 7 and 8’s take part in a carousel of workshops, see a screening of the SRtRC educational film and take part in a Q&A session with a panel of special guests.
Young people took part in three different workshops throughout the morning.
The Education Manager at WWSET, Mark Heath, delivered a brilliant workshop focused on ‘Respect’. The aim of the workshop was to help the young people understand what ‘Respect’ is and they did this by writing a short story on the topic.
The third workshop of the day that the young people took part in was a stadium tour of Adams Park. Aqeel Akram, WWSET’s Social Inclusion Manager, took the young people on a forty-five-minute tour where they visited the home and away changing rooms as well as the boardroom…and they even managed to get pitch-side for a close up view of the hallowed Adams Park turf!
After lunch, Yvette Thomas from Buckinghamshire County Council opened the afternoon event and spoke to the young people about why herself, and the Council, support Show Racism the Red Card events. The young people reflected on the workshops from the morning and spoke about the key issues which had been discussed. The young people further developed their understanding by watching the new 21-minute Show Racism the Red Card educational film, which provides an excellent introduction to the subject of racism.
Throughout the day the young people had been asked to start thinking of questions that they would like to ask the panel of guests at the end of the day. Education Worker and Queens Park Rangers coach Manisha Tailor MBE sat on the panel to help answer the questions from the young people about racism. Clint Easton and Mark Heath also sat on the panel to answer questions.
Young people from each school put forward a variety of questions to the panel regarding racism. Why did you want to start Show Racism the Red Card? Who was your role model for tackling racism? Why is it important to tackle racism? What’s the best way to deal with racism? 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 experienced racism and who they can report it to. The panel also provided brilliant advice on what each person can do to tackle racism. Wycombe Wanderers FC goody bags were given out to the winners of three best questions asked to the panel.
The event concluded with WWFC first team player Marcus Bean joining the pupils after he finished training. Whilst there Marcus joined the panel debate as well as signed autographs for the young people and spoke with them about how their day had been.
Mr Shabir, Deputy Head at Cressex Community School had the following to say about the event:
“The SRtRC events are a really important initiative to raise the issue of racism and help tackle prejudice’s that young people may have. It’s a really great opportunity for our young people to explore their thoughts and ideas in a safe environment and a great opportunity to visit Wycombe Wanderers FC.”
Yvette Thomas from Bucks County Council added:
“I’m delighted to be here today at Wycombe Wanderers FC for the SRtRC educational workshop. I really hope that the young people who attend today’s workshop are able to understand the negative impact that derogatory language can have on others and I really hope they’ll go back to their schools and share the messages they’ve learnt with their other students and that they’ll be able to support our agenda of eliminating racism across the country.”
WWSET would like to give a huge thank you to Show Racism the Red Card for delivering the fantastic event and also to WWFC for supporting it so well. Also a massive thank you to Aqeel and Mark who made the event possible. The power of role-models to educate young people should never be underestimated, therefore, a massive thank you also to Manisha, Yvette, and Marcus. A big thank you also 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, WWSET would like to thank all the young people from both schools for their honest engagement from start to finish.