A football club in Mossend is playing a key role at the forefront of efforts to eliminate racism from football.
In recent years Mossend Boys’ Club has been the venue for a series of workshops organised by the Scottish Football Partnership to promote the Show Racism the Red Card campaign.
These are taking place again this year with the first of them being held at the Sir Matt Busby Complex in Bellshill on Friday night.
But the club is also involved in another groundbreaking project with the nearby Lanarkshire Mosque to develop footballing links with the area’s Asian community.
Club development and publicity secretary Russell Sanderson explained: “We heard there were a lot of local Asian children who were going to school, going to the local mosque and then going to football training, but training by themselves.
“What we at Mossend BC wanted to do was to get them involved with us as the local football club, that way they’re involved in a player pathway.
“It started by some of our coaches going along and being a part of their own training session and the response was great from the kids. Since then we’ve been getting them involved directly with our own club training.”
Not only is Mossend FC involving local Asian children, but they’re also trying to involve adults from the mosque.
Russell continued: “We found that a lot of adults at the mosque were football coaches and they had their qualification badges. So we’ve made sure to give them an open invitation to come along to the club and help coach some of our teams.”
As a reward for their work club were invited by the SFA to participate in a special festival at Celtic’s Lennoxtown HQ which brought together kids from all groups that the SFA have been working with.
And on the club’s links with Show Racism The Red Card Russell added: “Show Racism the Red Card will deliver an anti-racism workshop to the young people at Mossend FC which will equip the young players and coaches with knowledge to reject prejudiced attitudes, behaviours and empower them to become responsible citizens challenging racism.
“Recently we have seen the escalation of racist incidents within football, including Scotland, and the negative press that surrounds such incidents. We are dealing with impressionable youngsters here at Mossend and we decided to do something locally to send a positive message.”
The first workshop is on Friday from 6-8pm with the remaining two taking place next Tuesday and Friday, from 7-9pm.