Hammers driving equality among schoolchildren
West Ham United returned last week to a Newham Primary School as part of the Stop the Hate collaborative programme with West Ham United Foundation and Show Racism the Red Card.
The visit was the second to St Luke’s Primary School this academic year and involved players from the men's and women’s first teams answering questions regarding racism from their Year 6 class, as part of the club’s Players’ Project efforts to drive equality.
The school had previously received an anti-racism workshop from the Foundation’s Senior Education Officer, Cormac Hanarahan, and former Hammers player, Foundation Ambassador and Vice-President of Show Racism the Red card, Leroy Rosenior.
This time, Aaron Cresswell, Ben Johnson, Laura Vetterlein and Nor Mustafa joined the activity by recording answers to the schoolchildren’s questions, consisting of: “If you have experienced racism, how did you act and would you do the same in the future?," “Why do you think racism happens in our society?” “Who has the biggest responsibility to end racism?” and, “Do you think racism can be ended in our lifetime?"
Through the Stop the Hate scheme, supported by the Mayor of London’s Shared Endeavour Fund, West Ham United has reached more than 2,300 children across schools and youth centres in east London so far this academic year.
Equality is embedded throughout West Ham United and the club is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging and valuing diversity and inclusion; striving to raise awareness, influence and help to make change.
Senior Education Officer, Cormac Hanrahan commented: “I’m really proud of everything we’re doing at West Ham to drive equality. The Stop the Hate workshops help to provide children with key learnings about racism, discrimination and prejudice and to receive the unwavering support of the West Ham United players through the Players’ Project helps to deepen the impact of our work.
“To date, feedback from our workshops has been really positive and the majority of children have shown an increased understanding of what discrimination is and how to combat it.
“The children at St Luke’s Primary were really excited to hear the players’ answers whereby Laura, Nor, Aaron and Ben reinforced that equality, diversity and inclusion is everyone’s responsibility and that we all have to safely challenge racist ideas when we encounter them.”
Show Racism the Red Card Southern Region Manager, Steve Goodsell, added: “The Stop the Hate project combines the expertise of SRtRC and West Ham United Foundation to truly engage with young people and explore issues around discrimination, with the aim of keeping them safe in their communities.
“The involvement of West Ham's players enhanced the experience to such an extent that the young people of St Luke's Primary were visibly delighted to have their questions on Racism answered by their heroes. SRtRC Ambassador and Vice President Leroy Rosenior shared his own experiences of racism which really struck home with everyone listening.”