Leeds United star meets pupils at Kirkstall Valley Primary for exclusive Q and A.
Leeds United first-team star Tyler Roberts made a special virtual appearance during a video call earlier this week with students from Kirkstall Valley Primary School as they took part in an equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) workshop with the Leeds United Foundation.
As part of the club’s activities for Black History Month, the Leeds United striker has spoken openly about facing stereotypes and coping with racist comments when he was growing up, sharing his own experiences and offering his views on the importance of having a diverse community and learning about other people’s backgrounds. Roberts was keen to get involved in the EDI project being delivered by the Foundation so he could learn more about what the workshops involve, hear some of the stories the youngsters had produced about their own journeys and answer some questions that would hopefully help them develop their knowledge around the important topic.
The Welsh international was introduced to the group of students by coaches from the club’s official charity via a video call where he was given a warm welcome, met by Leeds United chants and clapping. The pupils had a set of questions ready to ask the forward and took it in turns to stand up and deliver their question in front of the rest of their class, with Tyler taking the time to answer each question and share his own personal experiences.
During the video call, the 21-year-old said: “It’s really important to understand the importance of having a diverse community, I grew up in a community where there was a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds, and I can see that’s the same in this classroom. It is important that you are all together and nice to each other and enjoy every moment you spend together.
“There was one time when I was younger and there was a bit of racism that happened whilst I was with a group of friends from my football team and I was lucky that one of them stepped in and said no it’s not right that you’re saying that. Although it was nice to know that I had people supporting me and that they had my back it still makes you feel like all eyes are on you and you’re on your own, it was a horrible feeling.
“Everybody is equal, and everybody can make a difference in sport and in life. It just shows that we are all the same and we are all human, we should just be proud of that and happy to be together and push each other on.”
The Leeds United Foundation are delivering a six-week project at Kirkstall Valley Primary School as part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme, exploring the subject of equality, diversity, and inclusion together. With the help and support of local author Tom Palmer and local artist and teacher Burley Banksy, the students will eventually be tasked with writing their own stories, describing their backgrounds and the different cultures they’ve come across before designing front covers that will be painted onto a mural outside of the school to showcase their fantastic efforts.
For more information on the Premier League Primary Stars programme being delivered by coaches at the Leeds United Foundation, please contact Mathew.Everett@leedsunited.com.