Pupils at a Fulham school met a footballing role model last week, as part of a programme to encourage understanding of diversity.
Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah visited Sulivan Primary School, and led a workshop with Year 5 and 6 youngsters, giving them a chance to discus issues such as racism, sexism and appropriate language.
The workshop, organised by football's equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out, also challenged the nine to 11 year olds to think about how they would respond if they witnessed or suffered discrimination.
Sierra Leone-born Nathaniel, who is a graduate of Chelsea Football Club's player academy, is just breaking into the Blues' first team, at the age of 22.
He has represented England at every level from Under 16 to Under 21, and is one of 20 Kick It Out footballing ambassadors involved in the 'Next 20' educational programme.
“It’s been fun,” said Nathaniel of his visit to Sulivan last Thursday. “I’ve done a few of these events with Kick It Out before and it’s always good to come and speak to the young people – these are important issues that aren’t always talked about. I think the kids learnt a lot today.
“Kick It Out are doing great work, and a lot of the young people were really engaged today.
“I think if there’s a role model or someone in the public eye who can come in and have a conversation with them, they’re even more switched on and tend to focus more too.”
Wendy Aldridge, headteacher of Sullivan Primary School, said: “We’ve worked with Chelsea FC before: this was the second workshop they have led for us on diversity, equality and inclusion.
“It was great to have Nathaniel here. He listened to the workshop and talked to the children about his journey towards becoming a footballer.
“The children were interested to hear that he had to continue his studies while he was playing. This was a positive and enjoyable way of getting over important messages.”
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