Arsenal in the Community

In focus: Gunners For Change

Arsenal in the Community Gunners For Change

Over the course of the 2022/23 season we will hear from a wide range of local people who have benefitted from Arsenal in the Community projects. Here we find out more about how Arsenal Women goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese has thrown herself into our programmes.

Project: Gunners For Change

Established: 2022/23

Participants since starting: 90-plus

Sessions: Across Islington, Camden and Hackney

Available to: Every player that wants to contribute to or support community events

Gunners For Change is an Arsenal in the Community initiative launched this season to help inspire Arsenal Academy players to become more involved in the club’s community projects. The initiative also helps to drive community engagement with the men’s and women’s first teams, who have shown great commitment in supporting our initiatives.

The initiative is overseen by the department’s club link officer, Brian Matovu, whose role is to coordinate player engagement with Arsenal in the Community programmes. This season has seen one particular player show continuous commitment to Arsenal in the Community initiatives, and that’s goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese.

The American joined from HB Koge in July 2022, but immediately reached out to us showcasing her interest in community involvement. Kaylan gives us her thoughts on what working with the community team has meant to her…

Kaylan says: “When I joined in the summer, I immediately wanted to build a connection with the club and understand it as a whole. So I thought it would be one of the best ways to get to know what Arsenal is about and the impact it has had on the community over the last 30 years.

“My experience with Arsenal in the Community so far has allowed me to see the impact that we have on regular people within the areas of Islington, Camden and Hackney. It has taught me how we are so much more than just a football club. It has been overwhelming to see how much Arsenal employees do across the areas of football development, social inclusion, health and wellbeing, and education and employment.

“One of my favourite parts so far was when I visited the sensory room during the Arsenal v FC Zurich game at Emirates Stadium. I was so impressed because I never knew the stadium had such a facility available for people with access requirements to use. It’s amazing to see how the club allows an inclusive experience for all. It’s incredible.

“I believe that sport can be a force for good and to see that in action at Arsenal has been amazing. The difference it has made to people’s lives by giving people opportunities and hope is what Arsenal is all about.

“It’s good for everyone to get in touch with their community, but being a first-team player there’s an even bigger responsibility because we are role models to a lot of people. Supporting community engagements can spread a positive message or bring awareness of initiatives that people may not have heard about. Finally, it’s a great way to connect with the local people, especially for someone like me who is not from England.”

Club link officer Brian added, “Kaylan has shown an outstanding commitment to engaging with our community initiatives. She is a fantastic example of how players can have a profound impact in their local communities.”

For more information email Brian Matovu at

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