Sunderland AFC’s registered charity has announced the winners of the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) Community Champion Awards for the 2016/17 season.
Black Cats forward Duncan Watmore and SAFC Ladies goalkeeper Hilde Gunn Olsen received their trophies for supporting the vital community work the Foundation of Light does in the local community.
Watmore, whose season has been blighted by injury, has taken time out of rehab to visit projects and events, talking about the importance of education and hard work with participants on the Foundation’s award-winning programmes.
Gunn Olsen has backed the Foundation’s Girls Football programme throughout the season, inspiring young players with tips, encouragement and support.
Speaking about her role in supporting the Foundation and their community work, Hilde commented: “I think it’s especially important for female players to be good role models for girls wanting to take up football and I want to ensure that I’m helping grow the women’s side of the sport.
“The Foundation of Light has shown that there are plenty of opportunities for young girls to get involved but you also want to encourage those taking part and help shine a spotlight on the good work that’s being done.”
Duncan added: “I’m very flattered to win this award. As players, I think it’s vital that we stay connected to the communities that support us and I’ve enjoyed doing that over the last season.
“We’re very lucky to have such a strong Foundation that does so much in the local area and I’ve been proud to be involved with their work.”
Foundation of Light Sport and Play Coordinator David Dowson, who presented the players with their awards, said: “We’re very lucky to have players who are so supportive of our work and we’re incredibly grateful to Hilde, Duncan and all of the Sunderland AFC players and staff who have taken time out of their busy schedules to be a part of what we’re doing.
“As well as inspiring the thousands of children, adults and families we work with they help highlight the life-changing work we do enabling even more people to get involved.”
The PFA’s Community Champion initiative recognises the work done by professional players to support their local communities.
For further information about the Foundation of Light’s life-changing community work visit www.foundationoflight.co.uk
9 May 2017