As October draws to a close, it is important for us at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust (RUCST) to reflect on the importance of Black History Month 2021. During the last month, we have run multiple events to educate, inspire and empower individuals at events around South Yorkshire.
On Wednesday 11th October we took our United 4 Communities football team to a Black History Month fixture against Sheffield United Community Foundation. The day celebrated the diverse communities, race’s and religions we share on and off the football pitch.
Hate Crime Awareness Week
The following week, on Saturday 16th October, at the Rotherham United vs Portsmouth fixture we focussed this matchday around raising awareness of Hate Crime in our communities. The “Step Up Beat Hate” campaign challenged young people and fans to report any forms of hate. This day was supported by the South Yorkshire Police, Remedi Charity and our very own Millers.
To report a Hate Crime:
- If in immediate danger call 999
- If no one is at risk call 101
- Alternatively report online or to us Rotherham United Community Sports Trust by calling 01709827767
Arthur Wharton Football Tournament (in celebration of Black History Month)
On the 30th of October, our Inclusion department at RUCST delivered the Arthur Wharton Football Tournament event at our Parkgate Astro facility. The event, hosted by RUCST brought together local EFL clubs, external organisations and Premier League Kicks participants to celebrate the history of the first-ever professional black footballer and our very own Miller ‘Arthur Wharton’.
The day started with educational workshops from Shaun Campbell & Danny Howes from The Arthur Wharton Foundation on Arthur Wharton’s legacy and achievements. Followed by interactive workshops from Seth Ejukwu & Fred Harms from Show Racism The Red Card. We also had the pleasure of inviting some of Arthur Wharton’s family, who still live in Rotherham to this day. At 1pm, when the sun finally shone, the 5-aside football tournament kicked off between Barnsley’s Reds in the Community, Club Doncaster foundation, Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme, Sheffield United Community Foundation and RUCST.
The event showcased talented young people from across South Yorkshire, all who are involved in the Premier League Kicks Programme. Barnsley’s Reds in the Community and Club Doncaster foundation played out the final with Doncaster running out Arthur Wharton Tournament winners 2021 with a 3-0 victory.
All in all the event truly encapsulated the impact black history can have on young people and generations to come.
Shaun Campbell from Arthur Wharton Foundation said:
“It was an honour to be present at the Arthur Wharton football tournament organised by RUCST. It was particularly poignant as Arthur’s Great Granddaughter and our patron, Sheila Leeson passed away just a few days earlier. In recognition of her memory and support for the foundation, all present on the day gave a one minute applause in recognition which was most touching.
The organisation on the day was excellent thanks to a great set-up, and our friends at Show Racism The Red Card were also there on the day giving workshops alongside the foundation. A memorable day indeed and long may this wonderful relationship with RUCST continue.”
Host of the tournament, Inclusion and Youth Coordinator Anthony Bayou said:
“It has been a pleasure to host this event during Black History Month. It’s so important that we appreciate and understand black history and all the legacies someone like Arthur Wharton has left to inspire and empower generations of young people. Especially having Arthur Wharton’s family here today, wow!
We look forward to hosting the tournament again next year and celebrating Arthur’s history for years and years to come.”
Show Racism the Red Card Workshop
Our final event took place on the 1st November 2021, as RUCST invited 60 young people from 5 different primary schools to attend a Show Racism The Red Card workshop at the New York Stadium. The event, hosted by RUCST consisted of educational workshops around Hate Crime, Anti-Racism, Ally-ship and a Q&A session.
Young people from Wales Primary School, Thrybergh Fullerton, Eastwood Village, Trinity Croft and Kilnhurst St Thomas shared their views and opinions on racism in an interactive and safe environment. Schools involved also took part in a question and answer session with club captain Richard Wood and Professional Football Association (PFA) and former professional footballer Jason Lee.
Seth Ejukwu from Show Racism The Red Card said:
“It is always great to partner with Rotherham United FC and the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust to deliver our educational event. We were really impressed with how the young pupils engaged with all the activities. They enjoyed taking part and learnt a lot about what racism is and how to deal with racial incidents.”
The event showcased how important it is as a community that young people, especially from a young age understand the differences in society, race, religion and our schools.
Lucy Harley from Wales Primary School said:
“The staff and children were buzzing when they got back to school. They are very keen to do a whole assembly to share their knowledge. Staff said it was really well organised, interesting and pacy – they couldn’t fault the whole day”.
As a trust and football club, our aim is to educate individuals on the effects of racism in our community and do all we can to eradicate it from football and society.
If you’re interested in RUCST delivering a Anti-Racism workshop or project at your school please contact Jonathan Gilberthorpe on 01709827767 or firstname.lastname@example.org