PL Kicks coach chosen as part of celebrations.
Brooklyn Nixon has been named as Leeds United’s Community Captain in recognition of his fantastic work in the local area, specifically through his work with the Foundation’s Premier League Kicks programme.
The Community Captain campaign is being delivered across the country as part of the Premier League’s 30th anniversary celebrations, with more than 100 members of the public who have made an outstanding contribution to their club and local community being awarded.
The 18-year-old coach received the accolade at a bespoke PL Kicks session held at Ebor Gardens in Leeds earlier this week, where he was awarded a PL30 Community Captain armband and pennant by Leeds United duo Tyler Adams and Joe Gelhardt. A plaque engraved with Brooklyn’s name was also added to the Premier League Trophy plinth for the special presentation.
Tyler and Joe were on hand near the city centre to meet Brooklyn, learn about his journey through the PL Kicks programme, and take part in one of his sessions along with around 30 young participants. Following the presentation, the attacker and midfielder took part in a Q and A, with the local children asking about life as a footballer, adapting to new cultures and how important it is for different communities to blend.
Presentations to the Captains have formed part of the Premier League Trophy Tour, which involves visiting more than 50 professional, non-league and women’s clubs across England and Wales who receive funding from the Premier League.
Richard Foye, who nominated Brooklyn as our Community Captain, said: “It has been fantastic to see the journey that Brooklyn has been on since he started with us, from being a participant, to volunteering, taking on an apprenticeship and now being a full-time coach with us and leading his own sessions.
“Brooklyn has excelled with his work engaging refugees into our PL Kicks provision, he has embedded regular youth voice discussions at sessions, and empowered our participants – providing a sense of belonging and value to ensure they know that their contributions matter, and he continues to find ways to break down barriers to allow as many people to participate in sessions as possible.
“It was fantastic to have Tyler and Joe along to our session today, to give them an insight into the programme and to give them the chance to meet Brooklyn and present him with his PL30 armband and pennant. We can’t thank the club enough for the support they offer the Foundation and local community.”
Leeds United’s chosen Community Captain, Brooklyn Nixon, said: “I got told that we were doing a session down here and some of the event details, but it was only a few days ago that I was told about the community captain and getting the award which I was happy for but for me it’s just nice to have the event, it’s been great to see everyone come out today, kids that come week in and week out, kids that can’t always make it, they’ve all turned up and I can tell that they’ve all had fun with the session.
“It’s massively rewarding doing this job, I go home every single day with a smile on my face from sessions like this because when you see this many people, all enjoying their football and they all go home buzzing, there’s no better feeling.”
United States international, Tyler Adams, added: “Coming into a session like this today really reminds me of being a kid and why it’s so important to do things like this, seeing the smiles on all these kids’ faces, it’s a really positive feeling for me and to come down here and just have fun with them it’s been really good.
“If I had the opportunity when I was a young kid to have a professional footballer come and train with me, I would have been drooling over that opportunity, so now to come down here and be that person that people aspire to be and be a role model for them is very important to me.
"The community is what makes Leeds special at the end of the day, without the community we wouldn’t have the fanbase that we do and giving back is the most important thing, to leave an impact as more than just a football club or a football player, but being good people, being a good community, and showing the support for everyone is what is important."
The Leeds United Foundation Premier League Kicks sessions are supported by Premier League funding, with activity currently taking place seven days a week across a number of locations, in some of the most deprived areas in Leeds.
Across England and Wales, Premier League investment supports the community organisations of all 92 Premier League and English Football League clubs, plus the 68 National League clubs.
Over the next three years, the League will continue its world-leading levels of support by contributing £1.6 billion to communities and the wider game.
To find out more about the Trophy Tour and the #PL30 celebrations, please visit premierleague.com. Or for more information about the Leeds United Foundation and their Premier League Kicks programme please contact Richard.Foye@leedsunited.com.