The Breyer Group Stadium played host to 90 children for the Show Racism the Red Card event on Wednesday 3 October. Pupils from Snaresbrook Primary School and Newport Primary School were invited by Leyton Orient Trust as they take part in the Premier League Primary Stars programme.
It is the ninth consecutive year Leyton Orient has partnered with the anti-racism education charity. Steve Goodsell and Francis Duku from Show Racism the Red Card led a two-hour workshop that included a presentation and active discussion. It was also the first showing in the UK of the campaign’s new video, featuring many familiar faces from the world of football to discuss the issues of racism and discrimination, and advice of what to do in the case of experiencing this.
To end the day O’s first team players; Dean Brill and George Elokobi joined the panel with ex-O’s player and PFA representative Scott McGleish; and ex-professional player Francis Duku for a Q&A session.
Dean Brill said: “Knowledge is power. The more we talk about these things the better, so many people can be informed and get as much knowledge as we can out there. Hopefully we can educate people better, to make better decisions and to understand how to do things.”
George Elokobi said: “This is very important for us because we are a multi-cultural nation and to be able to pass on this education about racism to the younger generation is vital for this Country moving forward. This event will enlighten the kids on how to deal with racism if they ever suffer from it, and if someone else is being a victim, what they can do to help that person. It’s important for us to put on sessions like this on at the Football Club and to invite schools to come, so we can educate the kids, because the kids are the future.”
Scott McGleish said: “We educate our young players through the PFA equality department and Show Racism the Red Card for the last 20 years have been educating in primary schools and secondary schools. These events are really crucial to talk about this subject all over the country. The help of the local football clubs is a real big pulling point for the kids to look up to some of their idols.”
Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s anti-racism educational charity and was established in January 1996. The organisation utilises the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle racism in society. The majority of the campaign’s output is the delivery of education to young people and adults in their schools, their workplaces and at events held in football stadiums. Across Britain, Show Racism the Red Card delivers training to more than 50,000 individuals per year.