Birmingham City’s Jason Lowe and Carl Jenkinson hailed a ‘fantastic’ afternoon after they joined forces to deliver an equality workshop at Starbank School last week (18 April), as part of their role as Kick It Out ambassadors.

The event was led by Paul Mortimer, Kick It Out’s Professional Players Engagement Manager, with the focus on celebrating diversity, understanding basics around equality and gaining an insight into what it might be like to live with a visual impairment.

Both ambassadors also had an opportunity to share stories about the impact of racial abuse that their teammates have suffered in the past.

Carl was delighted to take part in his first joint-event with Jason and believed the session had a significant impact on the pupils.

“It was brilliant,” he said. “I thought the pupils were very knowledgeable – it was really enjoyable to work with them and to give them a better understanding of discrimination in general. They took to it like a duck to water!

“I think they know a lot already and we just reinforce a lot of the key points, but we also make them aware of different routes they can go down if they are having problems or if they do encounter discrimination. A lot of the group didn’t know about Childline, so we bring things like that to their attention so they know there is an avenue if they want to speak to someone.”

Jason echoed the words of his Birmingham City teammate and offered an insight into why he believes these events are so important.

“The pupils were enthusiastic and they got involved, which is always nice to see – it makes it a lot easier and enjoyable for us to see them enjoying it. It was a really positive event.

“The main thing is passing on what you’ve learnt or what experiences you’ve gone through to try and help them when they’re young and growing up, to educate them and create a better community for everybody. I think the younger we can get that instilled, the better.”

The afternoon rounded up with pupils given a chance to quiz Jason and Carl about their football careers and roles at Kick It Out, before the ambassadors posed for photos and signed autographs.

Paul was delighted to have them both in attendance to educate the pupils about equality and praised them for the time they spend with young people.

“Jason and Carl have been working with Kick It Out as ambassadors for a number of years now and it’s been a pleasure to watch them develop as role models. This is the first time I’ve hosted an event with the pair of them together and you could see the difference it made to the pupils, so I thank Birmingham City for helping facilitate their visit too.

“Kick It Out work tirelessly to ensure that the next generation have a good understanding of the importance of inclusion, but we need the support of players and I’m extremely grateful for their continued involvement.”