Ekwah named 2024 Community Champion

Ekwah named 2024 Community Champion

Sunderland midfielder Pierre Ekwah has been named as Foundation of Light’s Community Champion by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) for the 2023-24 season.

The Black Cats star was delighted to take the award, saying that it’s ‘great to give back’ after the support they receive from fans ‘every single day.’

The PFA Community Champions Award aims to raise awareness of the great support that players provide to their club's community activities.

Twenty-two-year-old Ekwah has been a shining example of this support, engaging with Foundation of Light activities with enthusiasm throughout the campaign.

The Frenchman made his first visit to the Beacon of Light as part of EFL Week of Action, taking a tour of the facilities and learning more about the role of the Foundation.

Ekwah even stayed behind after the rest of the squad left  to chat with participants and get extra photographs.

The SAFC star has also joined in cooking sessions and to support World Book Day activities. He also backed the Heart on your Sleeve fundraising campaign.

After being presented with the award, Ekwah said: “I didn’t know about it, but it definitely was a nice surprise.

“It’s really important, whether it’s kids, people my age or older, it’s nice to give back to the community.

“They support us every single day and at the stadium every matchday, I just think it’s great as players to come and give back to them any way we can.”

Asked about what he has enjoyed the most with the Foundation, Ekwah found it difficult to decide.

“World Book Day was really good. I really enjoyed it and I got the award as well. The day in the kitchen was a top one.”

“I wish I could have been involved in this kind of thing when I was younger,” he added.

“I grew up and didn’t really have a team as close to me, I was living just outside of Paris.

“So, all the time when I was seeing players doing community work, in my head I always thought ‘I want to do that, I want to give back to the community.’

“I just think it’s not really difficult, it’s not a task for me. It’s just something that I love to do, and I do it with a smile on my face.”

Foundation of Light Managing Director Jamie Wright added:“It has been a pleasure to see so many players, Pierre especially, engaging so enthusiastically with the Foundation this year.

“Pierre always comes in with a big smile on his face and you can tell that he gets as much enjoyment from it as the participants do.”

"It makes a real difference to the work we do when the players are so engaged and we really do appreciate their support."

Hear from Pierre:

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18 April 2024

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