Image Credit: Movember
Sports clubs across York have been adversely affected by the global pandemic and subsequent second lockdown, however this has not stopped the charitable efforts that they undertake year in year out.
Throughout October, York Sport Union set out a goal to either run, walk or row 500km to raise money for ‘Show Racism the Red Card England’ and the ‘Young Historians Project’ as part of YUSU BAME network’s Black History Month campaign ‘There is no Such Thing as Amnesia’ (Run also in partnership with York’s African-Caribbean Society and BritAsian Society York). They exceeded expectations with the help of numerous contributors across different sports teams and other students. In total they accumulated 952km in distance and over £400 to continue raising awareness of the systemic racism and unconscious bias in Sport. It’s a topic which has taken the forefront of sporting headlines both nationally and here at York.
Both the charities involved are committed to the long-term change mainly focused around education for young people, with some of the funds going towards workshops in schools and other educational settings such as our University to name just one. There was a diversity in Sport workshop discussing how to include BAME students in UoY sport, and later in the month a Show Racism the Red Card workshop which York Sport Union President Maddi Cannell stated as being a “platform to continue the conversation on stamping out racism in sport and on campus.” Being the UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity, this was a brilliant way for the necessary conversation to be introduced across campus to different clubs who intended the workshop.
Numerous clubs were involved in the campaign, including York Hornets, Lacrosse, Rugby, Boxing, Basketball, Boat, Canoe and American Football to name a few, but the message remained constant. On the Just Giving page, this is best laid out by the aim of “shining a spotlight on people’s experiences of being Black/BAME in sport to highlight the systemic racism and unconscious biases faced. Our vision is to raise awareness and create an inclusive community that we all would like to be a part of.”
Across Instagram, the different sporting clubs at York expressed their acceptance of a mission statement laid out by York Sport Union in which they outlined this aforementioned vision of inclusivity and diversity across campus. This is all with the aim of students reaching their potential without fear of prejudice or bias, be that down to “race, class, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age [or] disabilities.” Clubs such as UYWRUFC highlighted in their post how they have always been a club where anyone is welcome and this is exactly the message York Sport portrays, from my personal experience.
Other clubs decided to Show Racism the Red Card by wearing red to training across weeks of Black History Month, such as York Hornets who continued spreading the message across a number of their different squads, albeit while training in completely unusual circumstances. This shows exactly the type of commitment to charitable causes at York, showing that clubs do actually care about the causes they claim to represent. The cheerleading club’s fundraising officers Keziah Griffin and Jodie Potter organised the opportunity within the club and raised a substantial amount of money in their efforts.