Over80pupilsfrom twoNorthLanarkshireschools,inScotland,cametogetherduringtheFootballPeopleweeks inaspecialsportingevent aimedathighlightingthepositivepowerofsportand challengediscrimination.
The initiative was organised by the Scottish anti-sectarianism group Nil by Mouth, who over the last three has been working with students of both Holy Family and Mossend primary schools to help them better understand cultures, religions and beliefs different to their own.
During the sporting event the students were mixed into teams and together completed a series of challenges to win ‘Fairtrade Footballs’ to donate to children in Zambia through the ‘Africa on the Ball’ scheme, which provides children in the developing world with access to sport.
Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said: “Football has always been synonymous with Lanarkshire and some of the greatest players and mangers in history have hailed from this area.
“This event has seen children from different cultural and religious traditions coming to together to work as a team and win footballs for children in some of the poorest parts of the planet.
“By taking part in this event pupils are joining with thousands of people across Europe who are using Fare’s programme to prove football can build bridges between communities, continents and cultures.”
Earlier this year, the Scottish group launched a social media campaign, in cooperation with students of City of Glasgow College, to raise awareness of sectarian abuse among football supporters, highlighting the positive sides of being a football fan in Scotland.
“We have seen this year through our Kiss Bigotry Goodbye campaign that football fans and sport in general can be a force for good and these young people do not see difference a something be feared, but celebrated.” Dave explained, adding “Today they showed how by working together we can build bridges higher than walls.”