Leon Best and Demba Ba

Young people from Highfield Middle School in Prudhoe, St. Bede's Primary School in South Shields, Spring Gardens Primary School in North Shields and Holy Cross Primary School in Wallsend attended the Sports Direct Arena on Tuesday for a Show Racism the Red Card educational event and were joined with United strikers Demba Ba and Leon Best.

The school pupils were given the opportunity to take part in a whole day of enjoyable and educational activities looking at the issue of racism in society.

During the afternoon they watched Show Racism the Red Card's latest DVD, which features top international footballers, and then they had the opportunity to pose questions on racism to the panel, including Ba and Best plus ex-players Olivier Bernard and John Anderson, who work with the campaign in the region's schools.

Demba said: "I was pleased to be able to come along to the event and do my bit in helping to advise and educate the school children.

"I am aware I'm following in the footsteps of many hundreds of players throughout the world of football in supporting their work and that's nice to know."

And Leon added: "Show Racism the Red Card do a tremendous amount of good work each season up and down the country to help youngsters in particular get a better understanding of this subject and, having worked with them previously, it was great to get onboard again.

"I wish their campaign every possible success."

Laura Pidcock from the charity's education team said: "Racism is learnt behaviour. Nobody is born a racist. Show Racism the Red Card helps young people and adults to understand that discriminating against someone just because they have a different skin colour, religion, nationality or culture is not acceptable."

"Racism doesn't only hurt the victim. It can negatively affect the person who carries the prejudice. If someone is burdened with hatred, it puts limitations on everything they do."

All of the young people left with a goody bag containing the new SRtRC magazine and a Newcastle United poster signed by the panel. To find out more about Show Racism the Red Card, visit www.theredcard.org.