Doncaster Rovers striker Alfie May, in a bid to have a greater impact in the community of Doncaster, has been announced as Club Doncaster Foundation's Football Welcomes Ambassador for 2019/20.
The Kent-born footballer, who signed for Doncaster Rovers in 2017, has quickly become a fans’ favourite at the Keepmoat Stadium, and has now joined Amnesty UK’s Football Welcomes project to help create more welcoming communities through the power of football.
Present at the weekly football session on Friday, the 26-year-old handed out Rovers socks to the refugees, many who come to sessions without any socks, let alone football socks. May also gifted 50 free tickets for Rovers' match against Burton Albion, courtesy of the Foundation.
May said: “I’m really looking forward to my new role with everyone at Amnesty UK and DCC United. Football Welcomes is a really important project and I’m proud to be the ambassador for it.
“The club and the Foundation have put in a lot of work of the past 18 months to help ensure that people seeking asylum in Doncaster feel welcome at the football club and in the town. I’m really looking forward to getting involved throughout the season.”
The Foundation, alongside the football club, have been invited by Amnesty UK to deliver the Football Welcomes Community Project, which uses the power of football to create more welcoming communities for refugees across the UK.
As part of his role as an ambassador, May will be working closely with Doncaster Conversation Club United (DCC United), offering his support and time to help refugees feel welcome in Doncaster.
Having expressed a desire to get involved with Football Welcomes, May will be regularly attending the Friday sessions and visiting the conversation club to get to know the participants more.
Over the past 18 months, the Foundation’s health and wellbeing team have given people seeking asylum the opportunity to take part in sport throughout Doncaster.
This includes invitations to matchdays, football sessions at Club Doncaster Academy on a Friday afternoon, and opportunities to play on the Keepmoat Stadium turf alongside Rovers supporters and Fit Rovers members.
The Foundation is one of five football club foundations and county FAs across the UK taking part in the project, which is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
As well as the mental and physical health benefits playing recreational football can bring, there will be opportunities for participants to attend English classes, volunteer, undertake refereeing or coaching training or join local grassroots sides, among other activities, including the potential to obtain FA coaching badges with the Foundation.
In April this year, the Foundation joined 177 clubs in the third annual Football Welcomes weekend, when DCC United were invited to take part in a football match at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Alongside Alfie May, Club Doncaster will continue to support DCC United, providing them with facilities and training kit as part of the ongoing partnership.