England 1decision Blog Post

ENGLAND: A Team To Be Proud Of

When Bukayo Saka stepped up to take the decisive penalty that was ultimately saved, I couldn’t have felt prouder of what the England team had given us this summer. Trophy or not, it’s clear that England has a talented squad of young men to take them forward.

That said, it is with regard to matters beyond the pitch that this England team shines brightest. Not only have the vast majority overcome considerable barriers of class and race to get to where they are, they continue to do things that buck the trend of the stereotype of the detached footballer with more money than sense. Now we have some true heroes to believe in, regardless of what they do on the football pitch.

Take for instance our vice-captain Jordan Henderson. At the start of the pandemic, Henderson launched a ‘Players Together’ initiative that encouraged his fellow players to donate to the NHS. Jordan Henderson and captain Harry Kane have also been staunch allies of the LGBTQ+ community when it’s been needed the most. Kane even wore a rainbow captain’s armband against Germany to showcase his solidarity.

Kalvin Phillips played every minute of England’s campaign to the surprise of many, but as well as doing an excellent job in the middle, Kalvin has also helped raise awareness of domestic abuse by wearing a White Ribbon. Given that domestic abuse rates tend to soar following an England defeat, it’s an important statement to make. Then we get to Raheem Sterling, whose charity endeavours have helped countless young, disadvantaged children. Alongside this, Raheem’s work to combat racism has been outstanding.

Last but certainly not least, Marcus Rashford. Though he missed one of the decisive spot kicks, his heroism over the last few years trumps anything done on a football pitch. Marcus has worked tirelessly to ensure children across the UK have not been going hungry through his free school meals campaign, as well as some of his own volunteering. The battle is still going on for Marcus, as he looks to turn his attention to child literacy rates and encouraging young learners to read more.

It is extraordinary that an ordinary 23 year-old from Manchester has used his talent and skill to elevate himself to a point in which he can become an ambassador for those unable to speak up about their injustices. The likes of Sterling and Rashford had fairly difficult childhoods. Their determination to ensure no child has to endure anything similar is remarkable and truly an example of how wonderful this country can become in the hands of the next generation.

We should naturally be appalled at the racial abuse toward Rashford, Sancho and Saka who missed their penalties. There is absolutely no justification for racism or abuse in this day and age. We should rightly condemn and call out the abuse when and where we see it, but we should also take a leaf out of those who contributed an overwhelming wealth of positive messages to Marcus Rashford’s vandalised memorial. The good will always outweigh the bad in this country, and indeed beyond.

So where does this fit in with 1decision and our vision for the future? Throughout the tournament, many will have undoubtedly heard the likes of Rio Ferdinand on the punditry and even captain Harry Kane himself speaking of a team that breaks down barriers. Our resources focus on helping children understand that they are unique individuals, capable of amazing things.

Our pool of resources range from Early Years (ages 3-5), right through to Primary Years (ages 5-8, and ages 8-11). We also have the Nurture Portal, which has a more specific focus on mental health and self-esteem. Our Nurture Group resources are also free for Primary Schools! For more information on what we do, check out our website here. Maybe even see about accessing a free trial to see if we’re the right fit for your school.

In more recent news, we have launched our RainbowSmart app for parents and carers that want to continue the learning journey at home. Search for RainbowSmart in the App Store or Google Play and download the app for free today.

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