PRIMARY school children spent the day with former footballers in a bid to raise awareness of racism in society.
Around 80 youngsters from Clavering Primary School and Brougham Primary School, both in Hartlepool, took the opportunity to question the former stars and took part in a number of enjoyable activities looking at issues of stereotyping and discrimination.
The pupils joined former Newcastle United players Olivier Bernard and John Anderson, ex-Sunderland captain Gary Bennett, former England under-21 striker Trevor Benjamin and ex-Hartlepool United full-back Keith Nobbs at the event held in the council chamber, in the town’s Civic Centre,
The awareness event was organised by national charity Show Racism the Red Card and comes as Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to tackle racism in football.
The Prime Minister and ministers attended a summit meeting yesterday alongside some of football’s biggest stars, governing bodies and anti-discrimination groups to discuss the issue.
Craig Bankhead, Show Racism the Red Card education manager, said: “Show Racism the Red Card is not just about racism in the game of football.
“The campaign uses the role model status of top professional sports stars to help tackle racism in society.
“There have been a number of high profile cases of racism in the media recently and it shows that we cannot be complacent.”
He added: “Nobody is born a racist.
“Holding racist views can be a barrier to achievement both academically and socially and this is not something we want for the young people of Hartlepool.”
The young people all left yesterday’s event with a goody bag including the new Show Racism the Red Card magazine.
Hartlepool councillor Stephen Thomas, who is also a volunteer for Show Racism the Red Card, added: “There is no place in society for racism and events like this can only help to increase awareness of the importance of stamping it out once and for all.”