Winners chosen from PL Primary Stars and PL Kicks programme.
This week marks the special 10-year anniversary of the Premier League Charitable Fund and to help celebrate the momentous occasion the Leeds United Foundation have worked to identify committed individuals that have stood out over the last decade.
The Premier League Charitable Fund (PLCF), which was established in 2010, helps to distribute funding provided by the Premier League to professional football club community organisations across England and Wales, supporting them in their delivery of local outreach initiatives.
As part of the celebratory activity for its anniversary, winners have been chosen from each Premier League club for a number of the delivered initiatives, including a leading facilitator and a star participant, as a way of clubs being able to recognise those that have really helped to make an impact and a difference through the programmes over the last 10 years.
The Leeds United Foundation have chosen two winners from the Premier League Primary Stars programme and two for the Premier League Kicks programme. Take a look below to find out who our winners are and why they were chosen:
Premier League Primary Stars
Facilitator: Gillian Austerfield, Headteacher at Asquith Primary School
Gill is an inspiring leader who has continued to show her support for the Premier League Primary Stars (PLPS) programme. Her vision, commitment, and drive to embed the values, aims and objectives into the school curriculum, is key to achieve the outcomes for the beneficiaries – both teachers and pupils.
As Headteacher, Gill is constantly exploring and implementing all areas of the PLPS framework and coaches at the Leeds United Foundation are privileged to be working with her and Asquith Primary as a key partner.
Under Gill’s leadership the teachers and children are supported to enhance their knowledge, skills and build self-esteem through the PLPS scheme with Gill taking every opportunity to display work in the school for all to see.
Participant winner: Harley McDonald, pupil at Beeston Primary School
The Leeds United Foundation have been working with eight-year-old Harley since September 2019, as part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme.
Harley was born with a condition called tibial hemimelia, meaning he was born without a tibia in his right leg and unfortunately, he had to have the bottom part of his right leg removed.
The dedication Harley has shown since working with coaches as part of the PLPS programme has been incredible. His physical difficulties resulted in Harley lacking in confidence and suffering from low self-esteem amongst his peers. When the PLPS team started delivery at Beeston Primary, Harley was not engaging in PE lessons and was reluctant to take part. However, over the last year his motivation levels have increased massively, and he has become an example to others. Harley clearly embraces the Premier League values of inspiring those around you, showing others that no matter his struggles he is still able to be active and engaged in learning and developing his skills.
Premier League Kicks
Facilitator: Andy Topp, Site Manager at Meadowfield Primary School
As the site manager at Meadowfield Primary, Andy Topp has made it possible for the Premier League Kicks (PL Kicks) team at the Leeds United Foundation to deliver sessions seven days a week at the school, free of charge. His commitment to provide a venue for these sessions has helped to ensure that youngsters in the Halton Moor community have positive activities to engage in every evening.
Andy is constantly on hand to promote the PL Kicks services in the local area as well as in the school, meaning the coaches at the Foundation have increased access to young people in the local area that are often hard to reach and require extra support to help them make positive choices.
Andy has also played a huge role in supporting the team with delivery during the COVID-19 outbreak. Through a difficult period he has shown his dedication to the programme, helping to create a tailor-made risk assessment that would allow the sessions to continue following lockdown periods, always thinking about the youngsters that benefit from the PL Kicks sessions.
Participant: Brooklyn Nixon, youngster at Saxton Gardens sessions
Brooklyn Nixon has been a participant of the Premier League Kicks programme for over three years, taking part in the sessions at Saxton Gardens.
Brooklyn immediately made a positive impression during the sessions he attended with PL Kicks, engaging with the coaches, and showing his willingness to take part, develop and improve. He constantly arrived early for sessions to help set up, would help to organise the younger participants in attendance and began to take ownership for some of the other duties involved.
His commitment to the programme has resulted in Brooklyn being offered an apprenticeship with the Foundation, giving him the opportunity to work as a coach and develop his skills further. He has continued to conduct himself honourably, taking on board the core values of the club and Premier League and helping to support youngsters just like him.
A massive thank you to all of the winners for their outstanding commitment in taking part in the Premier League delivered programmes that truly help to change the lives of those who need support and guidance.
If you would like more information on any of the programmes delivered by the club’s official charity, please contact Michael.Kinsey@leedsunited.com.