April 7th 2017
The efforts of two Cambuslang schools to use sport as a method of building bridges between people have been recognised at Hampden Park.
Pupils from Cairns and St Cadoc’s Primaries in Cambuslang teamed up with anti-sectarian campaigners, Nil by Mouth, at an event at the National Stadium to celebrate their achievements as part of the charity’s ‘Champions for Change’ education programme.
Over the last few months P6/7 pupils from both schools have taken part in a range of educational workshops, sports activities, assemblies and even put together a combined ‘Champions for Change’ choir to perform across South Lanarkshire. Pupils also enjoy weekly football sessions together and the schools coordinate their anti-sectarianism message across the curriculum.
In recognition of all this hard, work the Crerar Hotels Trust sponsored buses and a special ‘behind the scenes’ tour of Hampden Park for the pupils, culminating with the opportunity to walk out onto the pitch just hours after Scotland’s one-nil victory over Slovenia in a crucial World Cup qualifier.
‘Champions for Change’ is Nil by Mouth’s nationwide schools programme which seeks to promote positive relationships between children from different religious and cultural traditions through a range of educational, sporting and cultural activities. Since it was launched at Stonelaw High School in 2011, more than 25,000 pupils from more than 120 schools right across Scotland have taken part. Cambuslang has been one of the most successful areas for this programme with a number of schools, including Cairns, St Cadoc’s, Trinity, Loch and St Anthony’s all winning awards for the quality of their work bringing people from different backgrounds together.
Nil by Mouth was set up by Glasgow teenager Cara Henderson in response to the brutal sectarian murder of her school friend Mark Scott in 1995. Since then the charity has campaigned against sectarianism on and off the terraces, securing changes in the law, a rehab programme for those convicted of sectarian offences, numerous nationwide awareness campaigns and delivering to tens of thousands of people in schools, colleges, universities, workplaces and communities across Scotland.
Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:
‘It’s been an absolute joy to be working with Cairns and St Cadoc’s over the last few years. The schools have developed such a strong partnership and we have seen many firm friendships being formed by pupils and staff from different schools and backgrounds. We are delighted that the Crerar Hotels Trust also sees the great value in this work and are very grateful for their sponsorship which allows us to celebrate all the pupils’ hard work here at Hampden. Parents will be invited to a special showcase later this month to learn more about this partnership and the schools are already making plans for more work next year. The attitudes and openness of the pupils are an example to everyone, reminding us that there is much more that unites, than divides, us‘