Doncaster Rovers Community Foundation hosted the day-long activity session which was led by national charity Show Racism the Red Card, to discuss homophobic discrimination, hate crime and racism.
More than 100 school children from across Doncaster attended, along with key partners from South Yorkshire Police, Doncaster Borough Council and Doncaster Pride at the Keepmoat Stadium.
First-team Rovers players Richie Wellens, Mark Duffy and Dean Furman also took part in a question and answer session with a panel of officials from the local community, including councillor Glyn Jones.
The event was an expansion on previous years with more youngsters attending and with a focus beyond racism, providing workshops and discussions around issues of discrimination to all sectors of the community, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender groups.
Doncaster Metropolitan Councillor Glyn Jones said: “I am passionate about making Doncaster a great place that offers a bright future, full of opportunities and potential for all. Only by acting together- and very importantly, listening to and working with children and young people- will we create a Doncaster that enables future generations to thrive.”
Years five and six primary school pupils from Woodfield, Kingfisher, St Francis of Xavier and Bentley high street, took part in the discussions to share experiences and speak with community partners, as well as take part in the Q&A.
Rovers midfielder Dean Furman commented: “It’s vital that children have more knowledge about discrimination and hopefully that can improve within schools, the community and football grounds, to teach them for the future and stamp it out of society.”
Liam Scully, chief executive of Doncaster Rovers Foundation added: “This was a ground-breaking event for the Foundation. By expanding the Show Racism the Red Card initiative to other areas of society affected by hate crime and discrimination will help build awareness and provide young people with a platform to share their experiences.
“The multi-agency approach brought all community partners together into one place to provide a direct route to advice and support to young people affected by these issues. As a community club we are proud of the close partnerships we offer through our network and the support we provide throughout Doncaster to people of all ages.”
Rovers were recently shortlisted in the Johnstone’s Paint Community Club of the Year Award. The national nomination is made up of five regional winners, of which Doncaster Rovers were confirmed as the North East champion. The overall winner will be announced at The Brewery, London, on March 16.
Over the past 12 months the Rovers Foundation has been delivering a number of different projects both football and non-football related to enrich the lives of each participant that joins them.
From school and multi-skill programmes, to the National Citizen Service and Project Youth, the Foundation has achieved record levels of outputs for the academic year 2012/13, including engaging with more than 18,000 individuals through targeted intervention.