The Scottish Football Partnership Trust (SFPT) was delighted to award funding recently to support a national education programme delivered by the Scottish Youth Football Association (SYFA) together with Show Racism the Red Card. The project will deliver anti-racism workshops to 700 grassroots volunteers across Scotland. These workshops, which will be held at venues up and down the country will initially be accessible to all Child Wellbeing and Protection Officers (CWPOs) registered with the SYFA. Under SYFA rules every club registered with the association is required to have at least one CWPO at all times. Sessions will focus on the causes and consequences of racism, the various forms it can take and how to safely challenge discrimination both in the football community and across wider society. It will also help participants understand how to report hate incidents to the relevant authorities.
Florence Witherow from SYFA said: “As an organisation, we wholeheartedly believe in the power that football has to break down barriers and foster inclusion across society. We see examples of this every week when young people from different backgrounds come together to train and play together on pitches all over Scotland. Unfortunately, amongst the positive, inspiring stories, we are seeing a distinct rise in the number of racist incidents at games involving our member clubs. These incidents are occurring both on and off the pitch. As such we recognise the importance of taking action and believe that education is the first step in tackling discrimination, wherever and however it manifests itself. We are extremely grateful to both the Scottish Football Partnership Trust and Show Racism the Red Card for their support on this project. As well as gaining key skills to foster respectful relationships and club cultures we hope that those who participate in these workshops will become champions within their community. We hope that they will feel empowered to help welcome and include all people regardless of their ethnicity, faith, culture, or nationality.”
Chris Priestley from Show Racism the Red Card said: “We are absolutely delighted to be involved in this project with the SYFA and share their belief in the importance of active anti-racism. We’re also very encouraged that so many club officials will have this opportunity to improve their awareness and expertise. As the UK’s leading anti-racism education charity, we are in no doubt that lifelong learning on this subject is essential to creating and maintaining an inclusive culture at clubs, within the game as a whole, and throughout Scotland. We are all eager and excited for the project to begin and would encourage all CWPOs to sign up to a workshop near them.”
The SFP Trust is extremely proud to be a part of these key educational messages for SYFA volunteers across Scotland which will help shape lifelong understanding and awareness for those taking part in the grassroots game.