ARGYLE was proud to host an educational event for young people from local schools, run by Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC), which featured guest appearances from first-team players Lionel Ainsworth, Luke McCormick and Robert te Loeke, as well as Michaela Phillips from Argyle Ladies, answering young people’s questions about racism and hate crime.

Pupils from St Peter’s Primary, Shakespeare Primary, Woodford Primary and All Saints Academy visisted Home Park to take part in workshops exploring racism and stereotypes, and what hate crime is, before the panel Q&A in the afternoon.

The event was part of a series of fifteen educational events with football clubs in England to educate about hate crime as part of a project supported by Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which will also include educational work in schools and teacher training.

The event was also supported by long-term sponsors of SRtRC, Plymouth City Council, who have also sponsored the production of SRtRC Plymouth Argyle FC posters for free distribution.

Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “On behalf of Plymouth City Council, I’m delighted to support Show Racism the Red Card for another year. Racism of all forms should not be tolerated and children need to learn it’s simply not acceptable.

“Plymouth Argyle’s footballers are role models with huge influence over young people across the city. They are well placed to spread the message that racism has no place in Plymouth – either on the football field or in any other walk of life.”

Argyle Community Trust Manager Mark Lovell said: “We are delighted to host this Show Racism the Red Card event here at Home Park.

“As a Trust, and a football club, we provide ourselves on accessibility and inclusivity across all areas of what we do as an organisation. Football is the world game and a fantastic sport for everyone to enjoy.

“While we are proud of the work we do in the community to raise awareness on the issue of racism in the game and proud of the progress being made, this is no time to be complacent.”

In January 2017, Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid announced SRtRC would be one of four projects to offer education to encourage the reporting and prevention of hate crime. Announcing the funding he said: “Let me be clear. Hate crime has no place whatsoever in British Society. We will not stand for it. All communities must be able to live their lives free from fear of verbal or physical attack.”

The project will build on the government’s work detailed in the Hate Crime Action Plan to challenge the misperceptions that lead to hate crime and support victims from marginalised communities to stand up and report incidents.

Plymouth Argyle has worked with the campaign consistently over many years to educate about racism.

SRtRC Chief Executive, Ged Grebby, said “SRtRC can now build on our work to educate about Hate Crime with this project and it comes at a time when it is definitely needed. After the EU referendum, many police forces reported a spike in hate crime and hate incidents, a 41% rise in the month following the vote.

“Clubs like Plymouth Argyle are helping us work with young people in a unique setting, listen to their views and educate about prejudice. We want to make sure if a young person experiences or witnesses a hate crime they know who they can turn to, but also to think about how a person could get to the point where they commit a hate crime.”

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