NEWS | The Millers celebrate Black History Month

At Rotherham United Football Club (RUFC), we are proud to be a diverse club, on and off the pitch, where everyone should feel welcome, valued and included, whatever their background or identity.

At RUFC and Rotherham United Community Sports Trust (RUCST), we believe that it is important to recognise and celebrate the diverse past, present and future of the club and the local community. Black History Month allows us to highlight and celebrate the achievements of black history and heritage throughout the club and the community of Rotherham.

UK Black History Month runs throughout October and is an annual celebration of excellence across the Black community, highlighting the contributions of inspirational figures who have helped shape our culture.

On the 30th October, RUCST will be hosting a Premier League Kicks football tournament in partnership with the Arthur Wharton Foundation and Show Racism the Red Card in order to celebrate the diverse footballing talent throughout South Yorkshire. We will be hosting local clubs Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday at Parkgate Astro. This tournament will also include two workshops that will educate participants on the importance of black history and anti-discrimination in communities.

RUCST’s Inclusion department will also be running a Show Racism the Red Card event at the New York Stadium on the 1st November. A total of 90 pupils will be attending the event from diverse primary schools in Rotherham. This event is centred around educating young people on current social issues, and includes a Show Racism the Red Card workshop, a hate crime workshop and an anti-discrimination workshop. This will be followed by pitch-side photos and a Q&A session with Rotherham United players.

Trudi Race, Inclusion and Cohesion manager said:  

“Celebrating diversity and supporting cohesion in our town is something we feel passionately about at the Trust and we aim to embed in to every community project we deliver. The importance of education around these subjects is imperative to creating a more inclusive and understanding society. We are very excited to host these two events this month and give young people the opportunity to learn about local black history, especially after what has been a tough 18 months for most”

Ant Bayou, Inclusion and Cohesion coordinator said:

“For me, it’s so important to celebrate Black History. Not just throughout October but from day to day and year to year. This tournament is a small gesture as what we as a community can really do to promote the awareness of Black History within our schools and communities. Having the opportunity to host not only football clubs but The Arthur Wharton Foundation and Show Racism the Red Card really enhances the impact we can have on the next generation of young people.”

Furthermore, RUFC forward Chiedozie Ogbene made history this month by becoming the first African born footballer to score an international goal for the Republic of Ireland. Ogbene believes that the RUFC team continuing to take the knee before kick-off is beneficial to educating people across the UK during Black History Month:

“I am so happy we continue to show how important it is to accept everyone for who they are and just educate people, and I am so proud of the team.”

“There is no place for discrimination or racism in any sport or society.”

RUFC and RUCST continue to support the fight against racial injustice in football and wider society, and strongly believe that the importance of learning during Black History Month allows us to recognise and celebrate those who have paved the way for others to thrive.

For more information, contact inclusion@rotherhamunited.net or 01709 827767.