Teaching Spanish at a secondary school. Advocating the importance of mental health. No, this isn’t a teacher or mental health worker, this is Sergi Canós – Brentford’s Spanish winger and Health ambassador for Brentford FC’s Community Trust. And for these stellar community achievements, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust has awarded Sergi the prestigious PFA Community Champion Award, which will be presented to him at the last game of the season.
Mental Health has been a cornerstone of Sergi’s involvement in the community. In October 2018, he helped run a football session for adults with mental health problems at Brentford’s training ground. By advocating the importance of mental health, Sergi has been instrumental in tackling the existing stigma and breaking down the norms of what is expected of a professional footballer.
Speaking about his involvement in the local community, he said: “I am delighted to win the PFA’s Community Champion of the Year Award. As a professional footballer, I want to use my platform to support community causes I feel most passionate about – whether that be promoting healthy eating and exercise with young people or tackling the stigma around mental health.”
And this attitude has been recognised by many people at Brentford FC. Most notably, Brentford legend Peter Gilham echoed Sergi’s commitment to the local community.
Peter said: “Ever since Sergi became a fully-fledged member of our First Team squad, he has shown an aptitude to make himself readily available for any initiatives that involve the local community. In response his general demeanour and friendly nature have made him a favourite with all who have been part of these community projects.”
The PFA are committed to raising the profile and awareness of the extensive work and participation of players in support of Community and Charitable activities. PFA Community involvement extends across many areas such as: health, education, social inclusion, equalities – underlining our commitment to make a positive difference in society.
John Hudson, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at the PFA, said: “The PFA believes that players who make that extra effort and contribution during the season should be recognised for their support and involvement in the local community. The award will hopefully raise awareness of the great contribution and importance many of our members attach to their roles off the pitch. We would like to offer our congratulations to Sergi as the recipient of the 2018/19 PFA Community Champion Award.”
Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, will present Sergi with his award before Brentford’s game against Preston on Sunday, 5 May.