PCC Shows Racism the Red Card
Pupils from Maindee and St Gabriel's Primary schools in Newport took part in a range of anti-racism educational workshops with the Dragons players and Gwent PCC Ian Johnston. The event was held at the Dragons' Rodney Parade stadium and was part of a series of events the Show Racism the Red Card charity has been running in Gwent thanks to funding from the Commissioner.
Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) received £9,250 from Mr Johnston's Partnership Fund last year to run anti-racism educational workshops with schools across Newport and Monmouthshire.
During the day, the pupils took part in a range of fun and interactive activities and explored what racism is and what its consequences are. After researching the topic by watching a campaign DVD, they took on the role of media journalists and had the opportunity to make up a title for their own newspaper or column.
They also designed their own questions around racism in sport and society and had the opportunity to ask their questions to the panel of guests which included the Dragons player Aled Brew and Gwent PCC Ian Johnston. Using those answers, the pupils will now return to their classrooms to write their own articles for their designed newspapers or blogs.
Wales and Dragons winger, Aled Brew, has been on the receiving end of racist abuse in the past and believes events such as this one are vital in raising awareness that racism should not be tolerated: "Show Racism the Red Card is a great campaign which teaches kids right and wrong with regards to racism and bullying in general. It's important because they can take what they've learnt and spread the word that it's not acceptable. It's important the Commissioner supports campaigns such as this one which highlights that racism will not be tolerated here in Gwent.
I've been a victim of racist abuse as a player in the past. I was once abused by a section of a crowd during a game played outside of Wales. It was difficult but I had the support of my teammates and the club. The club we were playing against also dealt with the incident swiftly and have since cracked down on this type of behaviour. Campaigns like this are really important to help wipe out racist mentality once and for all."
Eleven year old Joseph from St Gabriel's Primary School was one of the pupils who took part in the event: "It was a really good day and I learnt that you can't judge people by their culture, race or religion," said Joseph.
Highlighting the importance of funding such initiatives, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "Show Racism the Red Card do a fantastic job in Wales and play an essential role in helping to stem the tide of racism. I'm pleased to be able to support their work in Gwent which highlights why racism is poisonous and why it needs to be eradicated. I would also like to thanks the Newport Gwent Dragons rugby region for their support today. They have been involved with the campaign for several years.
Unfortunately there are pockets of racism in every part of society and children and young people are sadly influenced by what adults teach them. That's why it's important that we teach as many people as we can that there's no room for it in society. We need to work together as a community to raise awareness and eradicate it. Charities like Show Racism the Red Card play a vital role in spreading the word that it's not acceptable."
The Show Racism the Red Card Wales Campaign Manager, Sunil Patel, added: "We were delighted to welcome the Commissioner and his Deputy to Rodney Parade for our club event. The funding from the Commissioner is allowing us to reach more people in Gwent with our anti-racist message and to build on the work we have already done in Wales.
The continual support from clubs like the Newport Gwent Dragons also helps us to deliver the message that racism is not acceptable in society. At a time when racism continues to dominate headlines in Wales and across the world, it's imperative that young people get an opportunity themselves to explore this important topic in the company of players from the Dragons. We must maintain our united approach to tackle racism and drive it out of society."