Gwent Local authorities work with Dragons Rugby to challenge racism

Last week marked Hate Crime Awareness Week, a national week of action that encourages local authorities, key partners and communities affected by hate crime to work together to tackle local hate crime issues.

This year the Gwent Community Cohesion Team worked in collaboration with Dragons Rugby, using rugby as the catalyst to engage the community and spread the national campaign message #HatehurtsWales

Blaenau Gwent Council, together with its fellow local authorities across Gwent, have been working with schools not only to challenge racism and hate crime but to also promote inclusion and celebrate the region’s diversity. Last year schools were involved in producing an anti-racism poster competition which was organised by Race Equality First. Schools across the region produced some powerful art work which displayed messages that promote equality and show that hate has no place in rugby or our community.

The overall winner of this competition was Spencer Knight from St Alban’s RC School, and in partnership with Dragons Rugby; Spencer and his family were awarded complimentary tickets to last Friday’s game against the Stormers. At half time Spencer was presented with a signed Dragons Rugby jersey by Keiron Porter, who is the organisation’s equality officer.

“It’s good to be working alongside the local authority and victim support to tackle all forms of hate in rugby and the wider community. We want to promote that rugby is for everyone and that there is no place for hate in our game”Kieron Porter, Dragons Rugby.

Free victim support merchandise was given out to fans who approached the hate crime awareness stall which was set up in the busy marquee area during pre-game activities.

Mike Morgan, Community Cohesion Officer in Gwent says:

“Rugby is a big part of our culture in Gwent, you don’t have to drive far to see the next set of rugby posts across this region. Gwent local authorities and Dragons Rugby will continue our partnership to end discrimination and ensure that everyone feels safe and has a sense of belonging in their community.”