This week, the Premier League are announcing individual Club awards for those who are involved in Premier League Charitable Fund (PLCF) initiatives.
It is part of the PLCF ten-year anniversary awards and includes their activities including Premier League Kicks and Premier League Primary Stars amongst many others.
The involvement from PCLF has been extremely valuable to our own Dale In The Community Sports Trust, allowing them to set up sessions within the Rochdale Borough.
These range from providing diversionary activities in diverse community settings, setting up girls only football sessions, leading to the successful Rochdale AFC Ladies Club involving over 90 players.
The Community Trust have recommended the following people to receive awards, for their positive input into a largely successful partnership.
There have been so many individual circumstances over this period, so deciding who to put forward was an extremely arduous but rewarding task!
Premier League Kicks Participant – Fabio Tavares
Fabio is a brilliant example of how positive the Kicks programme can be to young people.
He attended numerous sessions as a youngster after moving to England and is now a member of the first team squad at the Dale.
The striker regularly visits schools and half-term holiday courses and tells the youngsters how he used to take part in the sessions, and how it helped him start new friendships and helped his career pathway.
Fabio said: “I always try to tell my children when I represent Rochdale about my way into football, including playing football at the Premier League Kicks sessions on Friday, how is played a part in me wanting to get trials at the Club and how it helped me become a professional footballer.”
Premier League Kicks Volunteer – Mohammed Zarafat
Mohammed has been a massive assistance on the Kicks programme, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he went above and beyond to ensure that participants normally attending sessions at Rochdale Leisure Centre were directed to the Dale Kick Pitch under stricter regulations.
In his role as a youth worker, he has been instrumental in engaging with many young people from the BAME community in Rochdale and has worked tirelessly with Community Trust coaches over sessions which have seen 100+ youngsters engaging in various sporting activities.
Mohammed said: “I have loved working with the Community Trust team in delivering sessions at the Leisure Centre, as I see the local professional Football Club as a fantastic draw when getting youngsters off the streets and into a safe, professional environment.”
Premier League Primary Stars Facilitator – Janet Giverin
Janet, teacher at Healey Primary School, has been instrumental throughout the delivery of the Primary Stars programme.
She has provided help and guidance to staff at the Club, ensuring that it has run both effectively and sufficiently.
Janey has also gone above and beyond to support the Social Action Programme, where learners from her school joined up with the Dale Silver 60s group.
Community Trust Assistant Manager Siobhan McElhinney said: “Janet has been involved since the school sports programme started. She is always very approachable, playing a huge part of the recent success. Her knowledge and understanding of schools within the Borough have helped the Community Trust develop our programme.”
PFA Facilitator – Calvin Andrew
Last season, Calvin was the Community Trust Player Liaison Officer for the fourth consecutive season.
Through his continuous efforts again, he recently and deservedly received the PFA Community Player of the Year for League One.
He has also been the PFA Player Ambassador for Kick It Out and Show Racism The Red Card.
Calvin has always gone above and beyond to help support the Trust and has been a role model to those he has visited in Primary Stars, Kicks and also Girls sessions through his time at the Club.
Calvin said: “I really enjoy attending the Trust activities as it allows me to be a different type of person and it is important to the Club and myself because of the effect this can have on young people.
I always reflect on when I was young and as footballers we sometimes forget the impact we can have on different lives.
There is no greater feeling than to see kids’ eyes light up as you walk into a room and they hang on every word you say.”