Portsmouth FC stars join forces to educate youngsters on racism at ‘inspirational’ Fratton Park workshop

POMPEY stars joined forces to educate youngsters on racism at an ‘inspirational’ workshop.

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 7:34 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 8:47 am

Portsmouth men and women’s first team players Mahlon Romeo and Cherrelle Khassell teamed up with Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) at Fratton Park to raise awareness of the topic.

Children from seven schools in the city were taught in a fun and interactive way about the subject while the Pompey players gave their insights on the subject before facing questions from the pupils.

Read More

Read More
Children worried about climate crisis write to political leaders saying: 'Help u...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Q&A panel members Duke Harrison Hunter (58), Cherelle Khassal (30) and Mahlon Romeo (26). Picture: Mike Cooter (011121)

Mahlon said he had been a victim of racism but said it had served to make him ‘stronger’ - with him believing workshops to help educate children being an important tool in the battle to stamp out the form of discrimination.

He said: ‘It’s good to educate people from a young age. It’s more important than ever and I was glad to see the young kids getting involved. The more awareness the better.

‘They asked me some good questions and I gave some good answers so everyone learnt something today.’

Host Paul Hill, educator in the south for SRtRC, said: ‘We looked at what racism is, stereotyping and the language used and how we can challenge racism today especially tapping into online (abuse) after what the England players suffered (after missing penalties in the Euro 2020 defeat).

Presenter Paul Hill leads the children through the event. Picture: Mike Cooter (011121)

‘We’ve had a great day with a couple of first team players coming down. It’s been fantastic.’

Duke Harrison-Hunter, equality diversity and inclusion officer at Pompey, said: ‘It's so important for our young people to have early intervention.

‘All these young people have learnt about discrimination, racism and stereotyping and challenging those stereotypes. This can help them educate their families and their allies growing up so it’s really important we do this kind of workshop year in year out.

‘The children will take a lot away from today. They were absolutely buzzing which was really good to see. Paul ran a good workshop and it’s about getting them thinking and challenging their thought processes.

The Pompey In The Community team at the Fratton Park event. Picture: Mike Cooter (011121)

‘We had a great number of 65 children and hopefully they’ll be able to go away and be able to support all their families and friends with the education they were taught today.’

Laura Peterkin-Aldred, head of Solent Juniors, said: ‘It was inspirational and so important for our youngsters which hopefully they will take back to their peers. Our school community is very passionate about this issue.’

Starlene George, teacher at Cottage Grove Primary School, said: ‘It is very important to us as a community. We have a large variety of diversity in our school and it’s really important the children get to experience this kind of event and educate themselves on racism and how to deal with it.’

The Q&A session included Cherelle Khassal (30) and Mahlon Romeo (26). Picture: Mike Cooter (011121)

Ged Grebby, chief executive of SRtRC, said: ‘One thing that has become, sadly, apparent in recent months is that racism is not going away, making our anti-racism education workshops more important than ever.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 26p a day.

Schoolchildren attending the event at Fratton Park. Picture: Mike Cooter (011121)