Blackburn Rovers Community Trust’s third annual Show Racism The Red Card seminar at Ewood Park provided a vitally important day of education in the fight against racism and prejudice, benefiting 100 children from local primary schools.
A day of video presentations, workshops and group activities in the Legends’ Lounge culminated in a special press conference, in which the guest panel included loanee centre half Tosin Adarabioyo and former Rovers flier Howard Gayle, who is a key supporter and activist on behalf of the charity, following the level of racist abuse he had to endure for large periods of his career around the country, particularly at the height of the game’s problems with the issue three decades ago.
With the aim of the day being to challenge such behaviour and inspire a new generation to speak out against it with the hope of its long term eradication, the pupils that showed the best understanding of the mission were rewarded with some great prizes, including signed balls and t-shirts, as well as tickets for matches at Ewood Park.
Every child also received a goodie bag, which included a 2019-20 team poster that Tosin individually signed and presented to those present.
Ilyas Patel, community inclusion manager at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, explained: "This annual seminar has been an important and enjoyable highlight of our calendar while I've been working here at Ewood Park, with those taking part always exhibiting such passion for the topic.
"Show Racism The Red Card present the idea in a way that's engaging and fun, where appropriate, so that the primary school children can relate to the message and take in its importance.
"It was a pleasure to be able to welcome Howard Gayle back to Ewood Park to be part of the discussion panel. He obviously suffered some very unfair abuse during his career, including from his own team mates when he was a very young player, so the cause is very close to his heart and he was able to express his sentiments in a very clear way to the youngsters.
"We were also pleased to have representation from the current Rovers squad and we're thankful that Tosin was able to relay some positive experiences to the audience, as well as taking the time to sign autographs for every child in the room."