Black History Month was celebrated at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday as schoolchildren came together to share poems on equality and diversity following a month of activity.
Marked in the UK for more than 30 years, Black History Month takes place in October and aims to celebrate the achievements and contributions of the black community over the years.
Throughout the month, and as part of the club’s ongoing Building Bridges campaign, the Foundation have visited more than 50 primary schools to deliver a range of equality and diversity activities.
With the support of Nike, the activity centred on students creating and submitting poems to the Foundation on the subject of equality and diversity with the top 10 entries invited to Stamford Bridge to perform their poems to a panel of judges.
The judges were impressed with all the participants, with St Augustine’s Primary and St Polycarp’s Primary schools finishing as joint runners-up and St Charles RC Primary School named the overall winner. All three schools received a signed Chelsea men’s shirt for their efforts.
Among those on the judging panel was Kick It Out chief executive Roisin Wood, who was hugely impressed with what she’d seen. ‘It has been a fantastic day and a pleasure to see all these young people speak so eloquently and have the confidence to stand up in front of us and deliver their poems,' she said.
‘Importantly it shows the level of understanding young people around Chelsea have on the subject of discrimination.
‘At Kick It Out we are campaigning against all forms of discrimination and have been lucky enough to work with Chelsea for a number of years and we are delighted with the work they have been doing to help make a difference.’
As an added bonus all finalists received a limited edition Nike Black History Month jersey to keep and the overall winner will receive a very special prize for their school courtesy of Nike and Chelsea.
Following the conclusion of the event, and month-long activity between Nike and the Foundation, Chelsea Foundation schools education manager Sam Gaskin-Kemp spoke about the importance of such collaborations.
She said: ‘It has been a hectic but very rewarding month of activity and this event was a fantastic way to celebrate the hard work of Nike, the Foundation and all the schools involved.
‘Equality and diversity is fundamental to our work within schools and to have Nike support has been brilliant. It is a hugely important subject and educating young minds, in a way schools can’t always facilitate, is something we can all be very proud of.’