Saints' U17 player Shadi Ali had been keeping fit during “Lockdown” by running up to six times a week when he decided to channel his energy and fitness into raising money for a cause close to his heart.
In just one week, 16 year old Shadi ran a total of 100km raising almost £1,200 for the anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card.
Shadi, who joined Saints last summer, completed runs ranging from 15-21 kilometres each day to achieve the impressive feat.
Along with his family, he left a war-torn Syria in 2016, arriving in Ross-shire at just thirteen years of age barely able to speak a word of English. He became a pupil at Invergordon Academy, where he began playing football. It was on the football field that Shadi experienced racism first hand, and it was this which made his decision to raise awareness of anti-racism charities an easy one.
“I wanted to raise as much money as possible for the charity, Show Racism the Red Card” Shadi said. “It will help them to visit more schools in Scotland and run more workshops to educate children about tackling racism.”
First introduced in Show Racism the Red Card are an anti-racism education charity, who use the high profile status of football to help tackle racism and discrimination in schools, workplaces and society.
Shadi believes the message behind tackling racism is clear.
“Colour, race, religion, nationality - it doesn’t matter. We are all human beings and there is no room for racism in this world. “
Shadi has experienced plenty of support from the wider community, including the Show Racism the Red Card charity itself, who tweeted their appreciation of his efforts;
“Well done Shadi Ali. #ShowRacismtheRedCard appreciate all the incredible support our charity is recieving. Education is the key to end racism.”
Young Shadi has just completed an incredible challenge during lockdown, to make a stand against racism 🔴— Show Racism the Red Card | 🏴🔴 (@SRtRCScotland) July 6, 2020
Please watch and share his powerful story. pic.twitter.com/4MV5MFlwUb
Shadi’s fundraising page is still running and can be accessed at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shadi-ali
To find out more about Show Racism the Red Card, please visit theredcardscotland.org
Pic: Callum Mackay