More than 850 children at three local primary schools have taken part in anti-racism assemblies and workshops put on by the Trust as part of football's ‘Kick It Out' equality and inclusion campaign.
The activities, which were aimed at using football to tackle racism whilst celebrating equality and diversity in the community, were presented by Dan Wells, our new Sporting Club Thamesmead Sports Development Worker.
He said: “Kick It Out uses the phrase ‘one game, one community' and that's exactly what we wanted to promote through these activities, which are designed to help children understand the value of diversity and to recognise that everyone is different but at the same time everyone is equal.
“We used football as the theme because young people identify with, and even hero-worship footballers, so the campaign is a great way to get young people talking about racism.”
The Trust's ‘Kick it Out' events took place at Hawksmoor, Heronsgate and Windrush primary schools and were followed up with multi-sports sessions at all three schools.
Windrush Deputy Head Teacher Sally McAvoy said: “It is important to make children aware that even in the popular game of football racism can still exist and that it should not be tolerated. We treat racism very seriously at Windrush and will encourage the children to take the messages they learnt in these assemblies into their everyday lives.”
Building on the success of these sessions, Dan offered an Anti-Bullying workshop to Year 6 children as well as a selection of Year 5 students, reaching a total of 450 pupils. He said: “A number of primary schools took up the offer; including Heronsgate, Windrush, St Margaret Clitherow, Jubilee, Linton Mead and the Business Academy Bexley.”
The workshops lasted approximately an hour each and involved watching an interactive short film, group work and discussions.
Dan added ”The feedback received from the teachers has been very positive as they recognise that bullying is an on-going problem, not only in primary schools but in most walks of life, and they stressed the importance of tackling the issues as early as possible.”