Schoolgirl Sharlize wins prize for anti-racism poem

Sharlize Sowden with teacher Carla Craig.
Sharlize Sowden with teacher Carla Craig.
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A schoolgirl from South Tyneside has won recognition for her poem about racism.

Sharlize Sowden, a pupil at Whitburn Church of England Academy, was awarded second place in a Show Racism the Red Card contest for her poem about a white cloud and a black cloud working together.

The school, in Rackly Way, Whitburn, took part in a national contest, run by the anti-racism charity, which aims to encourage pupils to learn more about racism and how it affects people.

Pupils were encouraged to think about how racial abuse affects victims as well as their family members and friends.

The contest invited Key Stage 3 students to create anti-racism themed artwork, creative writing, a short film, or a music piece.

Year 9 pupil Sharlize, from South Shields, was awarded her prize in the creative writing category.

The 14-year-old was honoured for her poem, Racism, at a special ceremony at the home of West Ham United, in London.

Carla Craig, a teacher who was involved with running the competition at the school, said: “We ran the competition across the whole of Key Stage 3, which is around 600 pupils.

“We had a large range of artwork and written entries, which showed very high standards. Once I received Sharlize’s entry I knew it was an outstanding piece of written work, and I am very proud that she has received the award and recognition for her work.”

Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s anti-racism educational charity and was established in January 1996.

The organisation utilises the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle racism in society.

The majority of the campaign’s output is the delivery of education to young people and adults in their schools, their workplaces and at events held in football stadiums.

Across Britain, Show Racism the Red Card delivers training to more than 50,000 individuals per year.

To find out more about the organisation, go to www.theredcard.org