Most of our opinions, attitudes, and approaches towards many important subjects are generated early in life. Most patterns we absorb from parents and family, later in school and among friends, but it is undisputable that the role models and idols have significant influence. If you want the children to grow up into healthy, open minded and loving people, direct them to look up to healthy role models. Big names in the sport are such models. This fact was used as a foundation for creating “Kick it out’s Next 20 ambassadors” list.
The project aims to gather celebrities relevant to the children and young people and to lean on their influence to promote anti-racism and all kinds of anti-discrimination ideas. Celebrities willing to take part in the project visit local schools and interact with kids in various discussions about these heavy subjects. In the latest episode, Callum Wilson and Carl Jenkinson starred in the classroom.
“I want fairness in the game.”
Callum Wilson is well known to football fans as a striker of the AFC Bournemouth. Along with his team mates and other players from Arsenal and Hull City, he visited students at Bishop of Winchester Academy last week and promoted some valuable ideas. Kick It Out organized special workshops and debates where Wilson interacted with students and gave them lessons about discrimination, stigmatizing, equality and the importance of inclusion. Being a black player, he certainly has a lot of credits to talk about these aspects of society. As he stated several times, referring to the ideals in football, fairness in the game, whether it’s football or chances in everyday life, is the dominant idea he supports.
A part of his visit to the school was a poster competition. Wilson awarded the winner with tickets for Premier League match with Leicester City, promoting sports, healthy lifestyle and healthy thinking at the same time.
Players follow Wilson’s example
What Wilson started has soon been followed by many other players from Premier League and English Football League. Carl Jenkinson from Arsenal visited Primary School in Islington; Curtis Davies guested in local schools in Hull City. Spreading ideas of equality, inclusion and fairness in spite of differences goes under symbolic title: “Give racism the red card.” Female football players are included into the project as well, which breaks the sex discrimination and the idea that football is the first association to male players.
Modeling of future generations
The whole project is dedicated to engaging young people in open discussions about some important issues in society, spreading ideas about equality and anti-discrimination. The workshops explore terminology, various prejudice, stereotypes and malicious ideas. Since Premier League welcomed many players from distant countries, different in skin color, religion, language, customs and many other aspects, football players promoting the ideas of equality and acceptance of differences seams like the most effective approach to these subjects. In such a way, children and young people look upon to their role models and absorb their models of behavior and thinking, which promotes valuable ideas and attitudes and gives them some argument from authority.