Tyler Roberts named Leeds United community champion after work to tackle racism and supporting fans
Tyler Roberts has been named Leeds United's PFA Community Champion for the 2020/21 season in light of his work on community projects across the city.
Throughout the 2020/21 season, the Leeds United forward has shown a specific passion in work around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) making himself available for virtual calls, content sessions and media interviews.
Having previously dealt with racial profiling, Roberts felt strongly about educating younger generations whilst offering his support to those who need it. The first diversity project the 22-year-old immersed himself in was with Kirkstall Valley Primary School during Black History Month. Throughout the creative literacy and art programme that was launched by the Leeds United Foundation, he worked closely with students to help them explore their backgrounds and family connections and learn more about different cultures.
He has also taken part in various filming and content sessions for the Premier League as part of their No Room For Racism (NRFR) scheme, with those resources being used nationally to fight back against all forms of discrimination. He has also carried out a number of different media interviews throughout the season, especially with the Yorkshire Evening Post, speaking to journalist’s one-to-one and opening up to them about his personal experiences in the hopes that it could help others who may be suffering or have previously suffered with being discriminated against.
After receiving the PFA Community Champion Award, the Wales international said: “This is a special award to be recognised for and one I know my family will be proud of. I have to thank Leeds United for allowing me to express my passion and be heard on various platforms, this year has been hard for everyone and there has been issues bigger than football, but it has shown me how together and united people can be and by doing that we can make great changes.”
John Mallalieu, chief xxecutive officer at the Leeds United Foundation, added: "In this most difficult of years, Covid has been the great magnifier of challenges for society. Tyler's enthusiasm to support the Leeds United Foundation programmes and appetite to share his knowledge and commitment has been exemplary in adding value to our beneficiary activities. A thoroughly deserved award."
Meanwhile, Jack Harrison has been working with children at South Parade Primary School during an online session with the Leeds United Foundation.
The Leeds United winger joined the zoom call from Thorp Arch Training Ground, meeting with two classes at the local school to learn more about an upcoming art project which comes after many young pupils struggled with asking for help and expressing their emotions. To help support the students, teachers from the school and coaches from the Foundation created an art project for kids to participate in, allowing them space to be creative and express themselves in a fun and positive way.
During the call, the 24-year-old footballer chatted about street art and graffiti, discussing the work done by Mateusz Klich outside Elland Road, as well as the impact of being stressed and ways to deal with difficult and challenging times.