The anti-racism educational programme in Poland for this summer's UEFA EURO 2012 final round, run by the Never Again association, continues to have a positive impact.
A successful one-year pilot programme in Warsaw, including specialist training for Never Again activists, has just been completed, and educational institutions throughout Poland – schools, universities and community centres – have responded in their numbers to an offer to join the scheme.
The training curriculum has been prepared specifically for the Respect Diversity project which forms part of UEFA's four-pronged Respect initiative launched ahead of UEFA EURO 2012. The curriculum is addressed at teachers and sports coaches from all types of schools and educational institutions across the co-host country.
The central part of the scheme includes workshops for teachers and coaches, as well as conferences to equip and support activities in the classroom to explore racism and diversity through football.
All of the training participants receive educational material on the prevention of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in sport. The materials also contain advice on how to conduct anti-discrimination activities at schools and other educational bodies. The workshops focus on issues such as manifestations of racism and neo-fascism in sport and prohibited racist symbolism in Polish stadiums.
The training programme is enhanced by a special exhibition about the multicultural aspects of Polish football, which was designed by UEFA's partner in the campaign to eliminate racism and intolerance from the game, the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network, and its associated organisation in Poland, Never Again, to promote tolerance before UEFA EURO 2012. Training is conducted by specially trained representatives from Never Again.
The training sessions are free of charge. The objectives are to use the power of football in the classroom to increase teachers' understanding of anti-racist education, and to support pedagogical approaches in this area. Another aim is to make available educational materials for teachers to use in classrooms; and to reach out to pupils in the classroom with anti-discriminatory ideas and culture.
It is hoped the scheme will benefit participating schools, teachers and pupils by nurturing a greater grasp of tolerance and by teaching youngsters about anti-discrimination. In addition, schools should be encouraged to be more open and anti-discriminatory in their attitudes.
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