PUPILS got the chance to get active and club together to fight sectarianism with future football stars yesterday.

Rangers Academy players visited St Blane’s Primary School in Summerston for an activity session, followed by a Q&A with the children to promote a new initiative to tackle sectarianism.

The scheme will take in pupils from schools, denominational and non-denominational, across Glasgow and will teach children to tackle sectarianism with their friends, families and peers.

The workshops will focus on educating young people about different backgrounds, faiths and the meaning of sectarianism and will look at the importance of fan behaviour and offensive language.

Glasgow Times:

Keiran Reilly, community executive at the Rangers Charity Foundation and an Academy coach, said the workshops would give children “the power of knowledge which empowers them to make more informed and better decisions”.

He said that teaching children about the language of sectarianism was the most important part in breaking down barriers between communities.

“The biggest thing for us is giving kids information – what are the key words in sectarianism, what do they mean, what is the background of those words – that really empowers the kids to make better decisions.”

The programme will reach almost four hundred pupils at a mix of schools throughout the city, from Crookston to Summerston.

The Academy team, themselves a diverse bunch with players from Northern Ireland and one from Portugal, were there to play and speak with the schoolchildren.

Glasgow Times:

Pupils got a chance to ask the team some questions, ranging from whether they got paid, if they felt nervous playing against their Old Firm rivals and who had the most skills on the squad.

Players and pupils joked about the youth team’s recent 5-0 win against Celtic and the squad shared some footballing tips.

Mr Reilly said: “We’ve got the whole team down, so for the kids, they’re potential role models.

“They’ll be involved in the fun football sessions, which is great for the kids.”

Peer-learning will be a key part of the scheme with pupils encouraged to go away and share what they’ve learnt with their families and friends.

Mr Reilly hopes this will help spread the message throughout communities.

“Hopefully they’ll get a take-home message about sectarianism and the details behind it.

“For us as a club as well, we’d like to think that the kids would go home and say it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from – everyone and anyone can be a Rangers supporter.”