‘Next 20’ Nathan supports Kick It Out at Bassett Green Primary School
‘Next 20’ Ambassador Nathan Redmond was on hand to support Kick It Out during an educational afternoon spent at Bassett Green Primary School in Southampton on Tuesday (6 December).
The England Under-21 international is one of 20 players from across the Premier League, English Football League and FA Women’s Super League who represent Kick It Out’s key messages of equality and inclusion through its ‘Next 20’ Ambassador programme.
Paul Mortimer, Kick It Out’s Professional Players Engagement Manager, was joined by Nathan to deliver an equality workshop to Year 6 pupils, who were thrilled with their opportunity to meet one of the Premier League’s rising stars.
The afternoon began with a basic introduction to equality for the pupils, as Paul assessed the understanding they had of key terms such as discrimination, inclusion and diversity.
“It’s important for me to get an idea of what level of knowledge the young students have around equality, so that I can tailor my workshop to their needs,” he said. “Sometimes the pupils will surprise you with what they know but often I need to lay the groundwork, which is what you might expect with young people.”
Nevertheless, Paul is always keen to challenge the participants during his educational workshops and Friday was no exception. With Nathan on hand to help, Bassett Green pupils were given roleplay scenarios and had to explain how they’d respond if a friend of theirs demonstrated discriminatory behaviour.
Paul believes the sessions can have a significant impact on the pupils and that they benefited from roleplay experience.
He said: “I hope they would now feel more confident in reporting discrimination if they witnessed or experienced it, whether it was at home, in the classroom or on the playground. It’s vital that we not only help them understand what discrimination actually is and why it’s wrong, but that we also give them to tools to confront it.”
Following on from the roleplay, Nathan took centre stage as he explained to the pupils why he remains passionate about campaigning for equality, as well as giving them an insight into his development into one of the best young attackers in English football.
The ‘Next 20’ Ambassador was delighted to join Paul in educating the local Southampton pupils and acknowledged the responsibility he bears as a role model to influence positive change in society.
Nathan said: “I’ve known Paul for about four years now and every time he gives me a call to do a workshop, I’m more than delighted to meet up with him and bring a bit more knowledge to the pupils about Kick It Out – stuff that they don’t get as much of in schools.”
“When I walked into the classroom, there were a few shocked faces and putting myself in their shoes, if a Premier League footballer came into my school, I’d probably be doing the same. I think me coming just adds that sense of ‘oh if he’s in here, we can sit in here and listen to the same stuff he is.’”
The afternoon concluded with a Q&A led by Nathan, with pupils eager to find out what it takes to be a footballer, whether he gets nervous before big games and who his favourite player was growing up!
“It’s just about getting them to understand the differences between people and what can be said, what can’t be said and if anything, just to broaden their knowledge a little bit. It’s never anything too deep, it’s just stuff that they will be able to understand and use in the long run.
Nathan added: “Football is an international language, it can touch so many people and at the same time it can bring so many together.”