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Faith and football at Arsenal diversity event

Last Modified January 03, 2020

Children from across Hertsmere came together at Arsenal’s training ground for an event combining faith and football yesterday (Monday 16 December).

More than 50 primary school pupils descended on the site in London Colney for a day aimed at understanding different religions and celebrating diversity. After hitting the state-of-the-art indoor pitch for a practice session, they were given a presentation by secondary school pupils from St Mary Magdalene Academy in Islington about their religion and how it affects their lives.

Youngsters from St Giles C of E Primary School in Potters Bar; Saffron Green Primary School and Parkside Primary School in Borehamwood; Clore Shalom School and Shenley Primary School in Shenley, and Highwood Primary School in Bushey attended the annual event, which we organised with Arsenal in the Community.

Councillor Caroline Clapper, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Health, said: “This is a wonderful way of bringing young people from across our borough together to talk about their faith and how it impacts on their lives and community.

“By spending time getting to know different religious practices and understanding why people from different religious groups do what they do, this will hopefully lead to a generation growing up which is more tolerant and open-minded.

“The beauty of the day is that adults are not the focus. Secondary school youngsters deliver presentations based on their own experiences, which really helps bring faith alive to their younger audience."

Speaking about their experience of the day, St Mary Magdalene Academy pupil Harry Hasson said: "I feel like it is good so that everyone can learn and if someone is a different religion from them, they can talk about it and learn a bit from them. I think it is pretty good what they are doing today."

St Giles Primary School pupil Ellie said: "We learnt all about the religious festivals but we also had good fun. It wasn't all about football, it was about different things too."

Parkside Primary School site manager Mr Honour added: "For me, as well as playing, today has been about making sure that everyone gets to learn about different faiths, because we don't necessarily teach that at school."

The secondary pupils were split into  groups. Each group prepared a short presentation with the focus being to describe their faith using objects they had brought in.

Posted on Tuesday 17th December 2019

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