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Meet the stars of our third kit launch!

Sherelle

As we’ve done throughout the summer, we’ve put our supporters front and centre of our 2022/23 adidas kit launches to thank them for their efforts in positively impacting their communities.

And to mark the release of our third kit, we’ve highlighted a fearless generation of Gunners fans who star in our social films having made a difference in and around north London.

You can find out more about them below, or get your hands on our third kit:

 Tayshan Hayden-Smith

Tayshan Hayden-Smith was born and raised in North Kensington, and during his youth had trials at a number of Premier League teams before spending a season playing professionally in Austria for FC Kitzbuhel.

After the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, Tayshan turned to community gardening to heal and realised the social and environmental impacts of nature. Since then, he has brought to life the community surrounding Grenfell Tower amongst other green spaces in the local area by initiating the ‘Grenfell Garden of Peace’, leading him to adopt the nickname ‘Guerrilla Gardener.’

At just 23 years old, he has recently founded the Grow2Know project, a non-profit organisation which aims to inspire young people through horticulture and empower more diverse communities by breaking stereotypes around gardening.

Two months ago, Tayshan showcased his first garden at The Chelsea Flower Show. The Hands off Mangrove garden by Grow2Know pays tribute to the Mangrove Nine, who stood up to racial injustice in the 1970s.

Sherelle

Sherelle is a DJ and label owner born and raised in north London who used to play football throughout her childhood at the Peter May Sports Centre, next door to our Hale End Academy.

Those experiences as well as following the fearlessness of The Invincibles inspired her to forge her own path as one of the UK’s leading DJs, voices and activists in the dance music scene, after breaking through following a live set at Boiler Room.

Previously, Sherelle had worked at dance magazine Mixmag, helping to rewrite the dance music narrative by counteracting the whitewashing that had erased the Black roots and contributions to dance music for decades, and left Black DJs playing the underground circuit.

She now runs her own label and platform called Beautiful, which aims to elevate Black and LGBTQ+ voices. The project encompasses a record label and music education programme, which has workshops combining technical skills with dance music history whilst also providing support for black and queer artists by giving away studio space for free and uplifting new artists.

Jelani Blackman

Born in Brixton and raised in Ladbroke Grove as an Arsenal fan, Jelani Blackman’s connection to the club grew stronger when he moved to Camden Town for college. 

During that time, his appreciation and entire sound of music evolved, sampling an array of different genres from rock, rap and indie which helped him forge his own sound as one of the most energetic and influential rising artists in the UK.

His sound has evolved by using his upbringing in Ladbroke Grove and the issues troubling his community as an inspiration. But the candidness in his music continues as he regularly looks inwards as well as discussing themes of community, culture, youth, relationships and racial inequality.

This summer Jelani played at Glastonbury and boasts collaborations with the likes of Gorillaz, Burna Boy, Ghetts and Wolf Alice. He is also a mentor to a host of upcoming and young artists across north and west London, offering help, support and advice for a community of musicians.

Melanin Skate Gals & Pals

Melanin Skate Gals & Pals is a London-based collective that removes a lack of representation in skateboarding by providing a safe space for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) and a platform for minority voices to be heard. 

Founded last year, they have been steadfast in redefining what it means to be a skater, empowering minority communities like BIPOC, LGBTQI and non-binary people by bringing them together and helping break down any barriers they face in skateboarding by sharing knowledge and experience, and outline that there are other communities represented.

The collective celebrates skateboarding of any form and welcomes skaters of all ability levels, including two weekly sessions in conjunction with Tower Hamlets Council and Hackney Council for all girls and marginalised genders that are under 18, as well as a separate session for BIPOC adults. 

These are more of an opportunity to socialise and be introduced into the community, as well as enjoy skating at any level.

Our new third kit is available now at Arsenal Direct, the Armoury and in-store and online with adidas. 

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