Emiliano Marcondes has been named as a Professional Footballers' Association Community Champion for 2020/21.
Despite the financial and logistical challenges that clubs have faced during the last 12 months, community work has remained at the heart of football, with Clubs and Club Community Organisations continuing to provide vital support to some of the most vulnerable people living in England and Wales.
Emiliano has been at the forefront of Brentford’s community activity during the past year. As part of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s #BeeInTheTeam campaign, which engaged with 550 participants, Emiliano joined children and adults from the local community to discuss the importance of staying fit and healthy. Hosted on Zoom, Emiliano provided insight on the players’ day-to-day routine at the Club’s Jersey Road training ground.
Emiliano has been a strong advocate for mental health on his social media platforms and earlier this year spoke with participants of the Trust’s Football Development programme about mindfulness and happiness during lockdown.
Speaking about the award, Emiliano said: “It was a privilege and an honour to represent the Club and participate in the #BeeWell campaign. I was able to use my platform to promote health and wellbeing through our Club community programmes, which is so important due to the pandemic and these unprecedented times for us all.
“Mental health and wellbeing are so important to individuals, families, schools, workplaces and communities. Community factors such as a positive sense of belonging - and activities to highlight and embrace diversity, social support, and participation in society - are crucial to this.
“Sadly, too often, the stigma around mental health prevents people who need help from seeking it. It’s important to make it clear that getting help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength, and advocating within our circles of influence helps ensure these individuals can get the help that they need. As players we all have a role to play to make a positive difference in our society.”
Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, added: “Emiliano’s involvement in community activities is exemplary. Across the squad, there is a real understanding of the positive role that players can make in engaging with our local communities. This has never been more important than during lockdown where we innovated to maintain contact with our participants of all ages. During our webinars, which ranged from health and nutrition to mental health and strategies to deal with challenges, it was evident immediately that connection and interaction provided a lift to all involved.”
To find out more about the fantastic work done by our award-winning Community Sports Trust, click here.