Premier League CEO Richard Masters and PFA CEO Maheta Malongo recently visited The Arsenal Hub to observe Arsenal in the Community’s Football Plus and Gunners For Change programmes, both of which are part-funded by the Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association Community Fund.
The fund was created to help club community organisations establish new projects that address a particular local issue or need, and the programmes use coaches and Academy player engagement to raise awareness of social issues in the local community.
The delegates from the Premier League and PFA watched how we focus on engaging young elite players in community work, mental health awareness and resilience-building in PL/PFA-funded community and player care support work.
Both CEOs met and spoke with our participants and got to grips with all of our funded programmes.
Arsenal in the Community want to say a huge thanks to the Arsenal Academy for their support in bringing four Under-14 players along to the event. They confidently held conversations with Masters and Malongo, representing themselves and the club with class. It was so good to hear them talk with such confidence and embody all the characteristics of a Strong Young Gunner.
Since the visit, the Premier League and PFA have announced a new five-year partnership. The agreement will see an uplift in funding and will help support the wide range of services the players’ union provides to its members across the professional game at all stages of their careers. Key areas include:
•An enhanced focus on player welfare and support.
•Continued work on community initiatives and coaching programmes to increase diversity in the workforce.
•Greater support for academy players who are released by their clubs, including funding for the EFL Youth Development and Scholarship Fund.
•Education for careers after playing, player counselling services, mental health support and medical research.
For more info on Football Plus click here
For more on our Gunners For Change programme click here
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