Schools join together to stamp out Sectarianism

ST CONVAL’S and Tinto primary pupils joined together for a unique lesson yesterday.

Youngsters from the Catholic school and non-denominational school are mixing together for educational sessions as part of a bid to beat bigotry.

Coaches from both Rangers and Celtic football clubs joined representatives from Aberlour youthpoint Glasgow in teaching the primary seven pupils, through football, the dangers of sectarianism in society.

Aberlour youth worker David Kelly told The Extra: “Through these sessions we want to educate pupils in right and wrong.

“Through these workshops, we can hopefully stop sectarian views forming among children at a young age, when they are most impressionable.

“The problem cannot be solved if it is ignored, it has been going on for hundreds of years.

“It is language, which often comes from parents, which often fuels the fire.

“We want to question the views of youngsters by addressing cyber-bulllying and sectarianism.”

The one hour session is split in two, with half taking part in the class room, and the other half, on the pitch.

Tinto primary pupil Daniel Okolo (11) added: “It is good to play with new pupils and have a chance to make friends. I also like being able to go outside and play football.”

The schools began to take part in the programme after lobbying by local councillor, Josephine Docherty.

Bailie Docherty is attempting to ensure St Convals and Tinto pupils are able to play football together out of school, as well as during it.

The Newlands/Auldburn councillor wants the doors to the football pitch to be unlocked in the evenings, so youngsters have somewhere to play.

She told The Extra: “Local parks have no ball games signs so the places where they are able to play sport, which is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, are few and far between.

“The football pitch is an amazing resource and pupils of both schools should have the chance to take advantage out of school hours.”