14 Jan 2013

Hugh joins Saints stars to help kids show Racism the Red Card

Renfrewshire South MSP Hugh Henry joined forces with St Mirren and charity, Show Racism the Red Card, to help schoolkids give racism and sectarianism the boot.

As part of the charity’s new partnership with Renfrewshire Council, primary seven pupils from Gallowhill and Glencoats Primary Schools went along to St Mirren Park, in Paisley to take part in workshops.

The event was aimed at promoting equality for all and was organised in partnership with the council and the SPL club. And Mr Henry, Labour’s spokesman on education, was invited along.

In the morning the youngsters got involved in workshops, looking at the dangers of racism and sectarianism, in the morning and had the chance to share their views.

In the afternoon, Show Racism the Red Card screened its new anti-racism educational film, which features some of the game’s greatest players including Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Didier Drogba.

Mr Henry, Renfrewshire South MSP, joined other guests including St Mirren FC first team players, ex-professional footballers and Show Racism the Red Card coaches Gary MacKay, Michael Weir and Steven Bell. The guests spoke about their experiences of racism and sectarianism and offered advice on how to deal with, and combat, racism and sectarianism whenever it occurs.

Hugh Henry, who was asked to give an impromptu speech to the children, told the young audience: “We are all the same. It doesn’t matter where you come from, your colour or religion we should all be able to live together. We can all help make the world a better place if you take that message away with you today you will be a true ambassador for showing racism the red card you and from what I have seen today you will all do that.”

Speaking after the event at St Mirren Park, Mr Henry, who is also Shadow Cabinet Minister for Education, said: “I was really impressed with the responses from local school pupils. Bigotry has no place in our society and it’s clear we have a lot of enthusiastic ambassadors to take forward the message. I hope that my generation can learn from this younger generation and Show Racism the Red Card is certainly hitting the mark with this audience."

Thomas Reilly, St Mirren FC player said: “Thank you to Show Racism the Red Card for putting on this educational event. We have come a long way with regards to tackling racism, but it still needs to be challenged going forward. It was great to see the pupils from Gallowhill and Glencoats Primary Schools at St Mirren Park; we hope to welcome them to the stadium for an SPL match in the near future.”