Boro Academy’s ‘No Barriers’ project will culminate at our home match against Rotherham United tonight (7.45pm), which shows there are no barriers when it comes to football and football clubs.
After last year’s award-winning project on the Battle of Passchendaele, our Under-12s have taken up a project to promote equality and diversity within our club, which will conclude at our ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ fixture against the Millers this evening.
The project pays tribute to former footballer and British Army Officer Walter Tull, and is aimed at encouraging youngsters from diverse backgrounds to learn more about the club and our Academy.
Tull, who was born in Folkestone of Afro-Caribbean descent, was the third person of mixed heritage to play top-flight football in England when he represented Tottenham Hotspur in 1909. Sadly, he was killed in action during the First World War.
The Under-12s have been working closely with the BAME community in Middlesbrough and Darlington as part of the project to try and break down barriers in the Tees Valley to provide a football supportive environment for all ethnic groups within our community.
The Academy juniors have been sharing their experiences with children and parents in what it’s like to be a young footballer with the Academy and have shared the positives linked to football, such as fitness and health, social wellbeing, belonging to a group, confidence in communication, thinking of others and working in a team environment.
As well as hosting groups of Asian youngsters at the Academy, the Under-12s were joined by Boro striker Rudy Gestede to visit the Abu Bakr Mosque to help generate positive relationships with families, friends of the mosque and the Academy.
At tonight's game against Rotherham at the Riverside, some of the Academy youngsters and teachers will be in our Family Zone to talk about the life of Walter Tull.