October 10 2017

Pupils from St Modan’s High School participate in the ‘Football People’ campaign

Young people from Stirling are joining a European wide effort to promote equality through sport.

More than 150 S1 Pupils from St Modan’s High School teamed up with campaigners Nil by Mouth on Friday 6th October for a special afternoon of activates focusing on how to tackle issues such as sectarianism and racism in football.  The event is part of the FARE Network’s ‘Football People’ campaign which runs across Europe from the 5th-19th October. ‘Football People’ aims to promote diversity and inclusion as well as challenge prejudice in the game and this year will see more than 100,000 people take part in activity across 43 countries.

The programme was created to help groups across Europe tackle discrimination and promote social inclusion through football. Fourteen large grants have been awarded to initiatives in Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Scotland and Ukraine. These grants will fund a range of national level initiatives including football festivals, road-shows, national campaigns, a photography exhibition and conferences. Two hundred small grants have been distributed to fund smaller scale initiatives, such as football tournaments, workshops, exhibitions, discussions, film screenings and more.

Nil by Mouth have been selected to represent Scotland on the programme and will run a ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ tour of schools, communities and football clubs over the duration of the campaign.  As part of the Stirling leg of the tour pupils will take part in a special educational workshop led by Nil by Mouth staff and come up with their own social media campaigns to promote tolerance and respect in sport.

Pupils were asked to devise their own campaign ideas

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott Said:
‘We are very excited to have been chosen to be part of this European initiative to promote equality through sport, especially given the long term problems Scottish football has had with sectarianism. The aim of this tour is to show how sport can unite people rather than divide and how football can truly be ’the beautiful game.’ I’m also delighted that so many pupils from St Modan’s are taking part. We have enjoyed a good relationship with the school in recent years and the pupils always ask good questions and come up with interesting ideas. As part of the event we will be allowing them to ‘take over’ our various social media platforms for the afternoon to share their ideas and campaigns with the public. Having been founded by a teenager our charity is well aware of the power if young people to change the world.’

Fare network Executive Director Piara Powar said
The Football People weeks is an important period for European football as it brings together all of those who watch, play or run the sport and supports inclusion and diversity across its structures while challenging intolerance and discrimination. This is a big and growing movement, our target is to reach 100,000 people directly taking part in activities and we encourage grassroots work like this event in Stirling.’