Players help show racism the red card

Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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POMPEY players have been speaking to youngsters to help spread the word about cutting racism out of football.

Striker Patrick Agyemang, defender Bondz N’Gala and goalkeeper Phil Smith, joined Year 5 and Year 6 school pupils from Corpus Christi Primary and Cottage Grove Primary at a Show Racism the Red Card event.

(l-r) Patrick Agyemange, Alina Kotodziejska, Bondz N'Gala, Chelsie Hare (10), Phil Smith and Dovydas Kasparaitis (10) at the Show Racism the Red Card educational event at Fratton Park, POrtsmouth. ''''Picture: Allan Hutchings (132938-862)

(l-r) Patrick Agyemange, Alina Kotodziejska, Bondz N'Gala, Chelsie Hare (10), Phil Smith and Dovydas Kasparaitis (10) at the Show Racism the Red Card educational event at Fratton Park, POrtsmouth. ''''Picture: Allan Hutchings (132938-862)

Taking place in the Victory Suite at Fratton Park, it saw more than 100 pupils introduced to the issues raised by racism in sport and how they are dealt with.

Patrick Agyemang said: ‘This is something I wanted to share some experiences with and speak to the kids about.

‘For me, I grew up with it. It was in my face and all around me. I couldn’t get away from it.

‘I don’t think they realise how bad it is and how bad it was back in my day. We owe it to them to show them what it’s all about.

‘No-one wants to be racially abused. It’s upsetting. For myself and for other people it can bring you down. The more people we can make aware of it, then hopefully it will stop.’

James Kingett is a campaign worker for the Show Racism the Red Card campaign.

He said: ‘We use the love of football to talk to kids in a safe environment about the use of racism. We want them to understand why racism is wrong and hurtful to other people.

‘We know that racism can be an incredibly serious issue. It’s difficult to talk about. Football gives us a way to get the message across.

‘By talking to kids at this age you can stop attitudes from developing.’

All pupils received some magazines and posters.

Year 6 pupil Brandon Udy, 10, is from Corpus Christi Primary. He said: ‘I have never experienced it but now I know if I experienced it, it would be bad. I’d be really scared.’