Jermain Defoe faced a grilling from a youngster with aspirations of one day becoming a top sports journalist today after his entry won a national schools competition organised by Kick It Out, football’s anti- racism campaign.
Jack Belloli, aged 12, from Ealing, West London, was chosen as a winner from over 400 schools who entered the competition last October, by a panel of journalists and teachers. Jack asked Defoe a series of probing questions including his chances of making Sven Goran Eriksson’s squad this summer.
The competition took part during the National Anti- racism Week of Action in football and gave Secondary School pupils all over the UK the opportunity to research the history of black footballers through conducting a mock interview with one of six pioneering players.
The six players were Arthur Wharton, the world’s first professional black footballer, Walter Tull, the first outfield professional black footballer and black army officer, Albert Johanneson, the first black player to play in an FA Cup final, ex- Liverpool star John Barnes, Leeds United’s Asian left winger, Harpal Singh, and Hope Powell, the first full time manager of the England women’s team and the first black coach to become an England manager.
Kick It Out Campaigns Manager, Alison Vaughan, commented,
"The idea of the competition was to get youngsters to engage with issues of diversity, inequality and citizenship in the UK through looking at the lives of pioneering footballers from ethnic minorities both past and current.
"The feedback from teachers up and down the country has been very positive and the competition has helped to spark debates in classrooms while capturing the attention of students."
After the interview Jermain presented Jack with a signed Kick It Out t-shirt and said he hoped to see Jack again in the not to distant future as a Sports Journalist or as the next Des Lynam and from the quality of his winning entry he may not be wrong.
For further information please contact Leon Mann at Kick It Out on 020 7684 4884