School anti-racism campaign backed by former Norwich City stars
- Credit: Red Oak Primary School
Let's make a change!'
That is the rallying call being sent to schools, sportsman, MPs and governing bodies by a Lowestoft-area primary school.
Red Oak Primary School, in Lowestoft, has launched a national campaign entitled 'Schools Against Racism' that is urging people to "spread our anti-racism message."
Johnny Lee, PE and Sports co-ordinator at the school in Southwell Road, said: "Recently there has been a massive increase in high profile racist incidents in football which has really tarnished the sport.
"Lots of footballers, teams and officials have suffered from online racist abuse during and after games and this just isn’t acceptable, the problem seems to be getting worse.
"Racism in 2021 shouldn’t still be happening.
"We have a duty to educate our pupils about this current issue, so that they can learn about racism and how it effects its victims in football, sports and the wider society.
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"Together with my head teacher Heather Madsen, we decided to create the Schools Against Racism campaign - a national campaign where we have challenged every other school in the UK to raise awareness of this issue by asking their students to create their own #SchoolsAgainstRacism football videos as a peaceful protest against racism."
Since the initiative was unveiled on March 1 on Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, it has already received the backing of Suffolk FA, Norfolk FA and Essex FA.
Former Norwich City favourites Bryan Gunn, Darren Huckerby and Cedric Anselin have shared the campaign on social media along with Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU).
Mr Lee added: "We have also received support and backing from Lowestoft Town FC, Great Yarmouth Town, Waveney FC and Loddon United."
Mrs Madsen said: "We feel it is important to raise awareness and try to make a difference beyond just our school if we are going to see changes in attitudes and beliefs.
"Schools spend a lot of time teaching pupils about the values behind being a sportsperson and about the importance of valuing diversity and being unique and it is time those adults that are role models to our future adults step up and take responsibility to make a change.
"We are so proud to have other schools behind this campaign, let’s stamp out racism and abuse and aim for a better future for the children and sports people, free of this unacceptable behaviour."
Visit the Schools Against Racism page on Youtube.