KCOM news

KCOM teams up with Hull City to give youngsters online safety message

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Youngsters mixed soccer with safety when KCOM teamed up with Hull City for Safer Internet Day

Eighty youngsters from 18 schools across Hull and East Yorkshire descended on the KCOM Stadium to take part in a fun-packed day of activities – as well as meeting Tigers’ star players Sean McLoughlin and Keane Lewis-Potter – to learn more about staying safe online.

The first event of its kind at the KCOM was organised as part of Safer Internet Day which will be celebrated globally on Tuesday, 11 February. The aim of the day is to empower young people to make the most of the opportunities available online, but also to be aware of the pitfalls that can exist in cyberspace.

Brendon Smurthwaite, KCOM’s community coordinator, said the day had been a huge success with Year Five and Six children learning about password safety, cyberbullying and online stranger danger.

He said: “At KCOM we have a responsibility to help people use the internet in the best and safest way possible – particularly the younger generation who are online at an earlier and earlier age.

“This event aims to alert them to what’s good and what’s not so good on the internet and ways of dealing with online dangers. If we can do that in an innovative way that allows them to have fun while also picking up valuable online skills then it’s a great way to spend a day.”

As well as talking to some of city’s rising stars about their experiences of being on social media, the children also enjoyed a tour around the KCOM Stadium accompanied by club mascot Roary the Tiger.

Tweeting about the event Longhill Primary School said: “We are having a really good time at the  @KCOMhome Safer Internet Day event! We have been learning about how to keep ourselves safe in multiple situations online. We created an online safety rap to help others to think about how to stay safe.”

Posting on Facebook Spring Cottage Primary School, added: “What a fabulous day we had at the KCOM Stadium for Safer Internet Day! KCOM do some fantastic work in the community teaching our youngsters about the internet and how to stay safe online.

“We learned about cyberbullying, age requirements for different apps and we even wrote our own poem! The poems will be judged and the winners will see their poem on the big screen at a game and receive free tickets for themselves and their families - fingers crossed.

“During the afternoon we had a stadium tour and got to meet two of the players, Keane Lewis-Potter and Shaun McLoughlin. The children gave them both a grilling during the Q&A session! The players then signed autographs and the children were given a goodie bag each and a match ball for school before heading back.

“Thanks to Brendon and the team for a great day!”

Will Gardner OBE, Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, said it was important for children to take part in events that broadened their online knowledge:

He said: “The internet is primarily a place of positivity for young people. Whether being inspired to be the next campaigner, supporter or friend – it’s a place for them to find their voice, explore their identities, and support each other.

“We must help young people on this journey by acknowledging the pressures, challenges and limits the internet also brings. We can do this by listening to them and starting conversations about our online lives. We know talking works; as a result of Safer Internet Day last year, 78 per cent of young people who took part felt more confident about what to do if they were worried about something online.

“It is so important for all of us - adults, businesses, and government – to support young people to harness the internet for good and make it a place where everyone is free to be themselves.”

For more details about Safer Internet Day and resources on how to keep your children safe online visit https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2020

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