Jason returns to former school to give pupils the Lowe-down as one of the 'Next 20'
Blackburn Rovers midfielder Jason Lowe returned to his former primary school on Tuesday (20 January) in Leigh, Lancashire, in his role as one of Kick It Out’s ‘Next 20’ ambassadors.
Jason went back to St Thomas Church of England Junior Primary School, to help deliver an anti-discrimination workshop alongside Paul Mortimer, Kick It Out’s Professional Players Engagement Manager.
Paul led the workshop, which focused on what discrimination is and how to combat it, to 35 Year four pupils before handing the class over to Jason as the former England-Under 21s international answered questions from the students.
Jason was asked a number of challenging questions on discrimination and his career within football. This was Jason’s second ‘Next 20’ event for Kick It Out after visiting Sacred Heart in March 2014, and the Leigh-raised star was delighted to come home on ambassadorial duty.
“I like speaking to the kids, it’s something new for me but I really enjoy it,” he said. “I said before the session began that I’m more nervous going in front of a classroom of kids than running in front of thousands of people to play for Blackburn.
“It’s good to come down to my old school today to educate the kids in my role as a ‘Next 20’ ambassador, try and get the right messages into them from a young age and put something in their minds to think about when it comes to tackling discrimination.
“I have enjoyed today’s session for the ‘Next 20’. It’s great coming back to my old school and my cousins were actually in the session! It’s important to educate the kids here about all walks of life and how you treat people in sport and outside of sport.
“My job is to play football but I understand that I’ve got a responsibility outside of that to try and put myself forward as an example for others. I put my name forward for the ‘Next 20’ and I’m more than happy to be involved in something that affects people and the way they perceive the world and hopefully these kids will go away from today with something to think about.”
Paul spoke after the session about the importance of educating the younger generation and how Jason is truly embracing his role as a ‘Next 20’ ambassador. “It really is rewarding when you deliver a session like the one held here at St Thomas with the help of Jason,” said the former Charlton Athletic and Aston Villa midfielder.
“Footballers have this stereotype labelled of them that they are unintelligent and unwilling to give back to the local communities that they were brought up in, but that is simply not the case for the majority of players and certainly not true in Jason’s case.
“He really understands the importance of his role as a ‘Next 20’ ambassador and why it is necessary that we spread the messages of equality and inclusion to children from a young age. Jason is an articulate and intelligent young man and is a perfect ambassador for Kick It Out.”
To find out more about the ‘Next 20’ initiative – click here.