James Belshaw and Layah Douglas receive PFA Community Champion Awards
Bristol Rovers goalkeeper James Belshaw and Bristol Rovers Women's full-back Layah Douglas have been named the PFA Community Champions for the 2022/23 season. This award recognizes players who go above and beyond in supporting their local communities and making a positive impact.
The PFA Community Champion Award is given to one player from each club in the English Football League and the Women's pyramid who demonstrates exceptional dedication to community outreach and engagement. The players are chosen based on their work in promoting social inclusion, health and wellbeing, education, and other community initiatives.
James Belshaw has been an active participant in community outreach events since joining Bristol Rovers in 2021. He has been a key supporter of the 'Rebound The Rovers' mental health project, which was organized by the club to raise awareness about mental health and provide support to those who may be struggling.
As part of this initiative, Belshaw participated in a panel discussion alongside mental health professionals and former players, sharing his own experiences and offering words of encouragement and advice to those in attendance. He also helped to raise funds for local mental health charities, further demonstrating his commitment to supporting his community.
Layah Douglas, on the other hand, recently became a Show Racism the Red Card Ambassador, continuing her work as a vocal advocate for anti-racism and equality. She has been an active participant in the Bristol Rovers Women's team's outreach efforts, working to engage and inspire young people in the community.
Douglas has participated in several initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion, participating in educational workshops and visiting local schools to talk about her experiences. She has also been a key supporter of the club's efforts to promote women's football and encourage greater participation among girls and young women.
Bristol Rovers Community Trust CEO, Adam Tutton said “Both James and Layah have demonstrated exceptional commitment to their local communities and are deserving winners of the PFA Community Champion Award. Their dedication to social inclusion, health and wellbeing, and education serves as an inspiration to all of us and underscores the important role that football can play in promoting positive social change.”
Everyone at Bristol Rovers would like to congratulate James and Layah on this well-deserved recognition and look forward to continuing to work with them to make a positive impact in our local community.