A series of workshops held by a football club in Mossend to tackle the problem of racism has been hailed a huge success.
Mossend FC staged the three events at the Sir Matt Busby Complex in Bellshill as part of its ongoing efforts to promote the Show Racism the Red Card campaign.
The club has played a key role in efforts to eliminate racism from the game through a series of initiatives, including a groundbreaking project with the nearby Lanarkshire Mosque to develop footballing links with the area’s Asian community.
Club development and publicity secretary Russell Sanderson said the workshops provided a positive two-hour long programme which included a coaching session then interactive workshop activities aimed at encouraging young people to challenge racism.
Leading the sessions were three seasoned professionals - ex-Rangers and Scotland midfielder Derek Ferguson, Stranraer’s Steven Bell, formerly with Dundee United and Dunfermline, and Michael Weir, ex-Hibernian and Motherwell.
Russell said: “For the first part of the session outdoors the children benefit from the expert coaching skills of the professionals who put them through their paces, with the resounding message that a good attitude can get you far in progressing a football career.
“During the hour long workshop the young players, split into small groups, were questioned about their perceptions and asked to match photographs with single word descriptions of each photograph.
“This led to many of the youngsters examining their own awareness with some surprising results, which then flowed smoothly into to a discussion about what racism is and the sorts of terms and descriptions that are unacceptable today in our multi-cultural society.
“With more than 60 young people taking part over three workshops, the feedback received from the participants has been amazing.
“The Red Card coaches want to come now and see the kids playing matches and the kids have really taken the message on board.
“Mossend FC will continue to run events like this and publicise wherever possible that there is no place in society for discrimination of any sort.”