Carlisle United were delighted to be able to host an educational event for young people from local schools today, run by Show Racism the Red Card, which featured first team players answering young people's questions about racism and hate crime.
Pupils from local schools came to Brunton 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 is 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.
CST manager John Halpin said: "These events are fantastic because they really help to highlight some serious issues and educate young people about things like racism and hate crime.
"The players come along and make it a little bit more real when they answer the questions from the children, and it all adds up to be a really worthwhile event. I'd like to thank everybody at SRtRC for choosing Brunton Park as one of their venues once again this year."
Morgan Bacon, Jack Egan, Mark Ellis, Jordan Holt, Steven Rigg and Cameron Salkeld were there to answers questions from the children, with subjects as wide ranging as bullying, hate crimes, racism in football and racism in society covered.
Midfielder Samir Nabi said: "The children were brilliant and it was good to see how aware they are of what are very serious issues.
"It was good to be able to make the point that the best thing for them to do, if they witness hate of any kind, is to tell their teacher, parent or somebody they trust as soon as they possibly can. If they choose to ignore it all that happens is the situation gets worse, and those on the receiving end are made to feel horrible.
"I think, from what they were saying, the children already knew that was the right thing to do anyway, and that was fantastic to see."
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.
Carlisle United FC 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 Carlisle United 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.”