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Young Newcastle Fans Help Campaign Against Racism

9 years ago

Children from year 5 at Kells Lane school in Low Fell, Gateshead, were the lucky ones invited to go to St.James’ Park and be journalists for the day.

The event was organised by Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) with the help of Newcastle United.

The students had two workshops and a tour of the ground, as well as viewing  a DVD and then the highlight of the day, posing their questions to SRTRC’s (to see more on the excellent work SRTRC do and how you can help, visit their website here) panel of ex and current footballer players on the subject of racism either in the game or in society.

This annual event was slightly different this year, in that students were asked beforehand to prepare for the day and become a journalist.  The children were asked to research the topic of racism before they attended the event and use the whole day as furthering their research, making notes in their reporters pads and preparing some questions to put to the panel (introducing their newspaper name before asking their question as if it were a real press conference).

The panel consisted of ex-Newcastle players Olivier Bernard, John Anderson, Richard Offiong, plus Dean Gordon who played for Middlesbrough and gary Bennett ex-Sunderland.

The two special guests were current NUFC players Massadio Haidara and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

After the event they were asked to write their article to be judged by The Mag and a prize from the club awarded to the winner. Here at The Mag we were proud to take up the challenge and it was a privilege to see the high standard of work by all of the budding journalists.

We were fortunate to have ex-NUFC defender and now radio pundit, John Anderson, to help with the judging.

John also does valuable work for Show Racism The Red Card but found it a tricky challenge to pick a winner from the entries, in fact there was such a high standard overall, it was really difficult just narrowing it down to four finalists!

Jointly, we eventually narrowed it down to four finalists and we will be featuring all of them here on the website before announcing the winner on Saturday, both on the site and in the new issue of the magazine which will also carry the winning entry.

The first finalist is Noah Charlton;

The Geordie Journal
Face The Race-ist

Racism is a growing issue in football and it may take a slide tackle to defeat it but ‘Show Racism The Red Card’ is educating the British public on how to stop it.

Tuesday 16th April 2013, Year 5 from Kells Lane Primary Schhol and a class from Stanhope Primary took part in the workshop held at St.James’ Park.

The first workshop was led by ex-professional footballers Olivier Bernard and Richard Offiong. This workshop explained how never to judge someone by just looking at them and focusing on the question ‘How do I know?’

Workshop two is offending someone’s: skin colour, religion, nationality or culture. In this workshop, hosted by Laura, there was a true or false quiz on racism.

The ground tour was next and was a glimpse into a player’s life by explaining the changing room and was a super chance to see the view of a supporter by sitting in the stands.

The question and answer panel was: John Anderson, Olivier Bernard, Richard Offiong, Gary Bennett, Dean Gordon and current Newcastle United players, Haidara and Yanga-Mbiwa. This gave youngsters a chance to meet their heroes and role models.

Catherine, aged 10, schoolgirl, said, “Racism is against the law and should be stopped”.

Miss Heath, 28, teacher, commented, “What a powerful workshop to educate children on an issue so relevant to society today”.

This was a pilot package (a test) but everyone who attended believed it should be run again.

Sorry footballers, we need you!

Watch video footage of the Show Racism The Red Card event at St.James’ Park below.
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