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Newcastle United Foundation’s Shayan Gazerani earns Premier League recognition for unrivalled community work

Newcastle United Foundation’s Shayan Gazerani has been named Premier League Primary Stars Facilitator winner, recognising his efforts going above and beyond to help North East communities in need.

The School Project Officer was nominated for the accolade in celebration of his years of service with the official charity arm of Newcastle United, where he has been a true inspiration to participants and colleagues alike.

His award comes as the Premier League celebrate the incredible impact of football clubs in their surrounding communities as the Premier League Charitable Fund (PLCF) marks its 10-year anniversary.

Shayan was a standout nominee in his category from the 110 professional football clubs spanning the Premier League to the National League who are part of the PLCF.

On receiving the Premier League Charitable Fund 10 Year Anniversary Award, Shayan said: “I’m speechless! I was just doing my job and to be nominated for this award is mind-blowing.

“I enjoy helping as many people as I can – it might be mentoring young coaches or giving the best session delivery that I can in schools. It’s important to me that everyone feels happy and safe and enjoys themselves like I do.

“I am very thankful to receive this award from the Premier League Charitable Fund and to have the opportunity to do what I do every day with Newcastle United Foundation. I love doing my job and this is brilliant – thank you very much.”

Shayan’s nomination described how he moved to England from Iran in December 2002 when he was 28. Back then, Shayan spoke no English, but endeavoured to learn the language, studying endlessly and eventually securing a sport coaching science degree at Newcastle College.

Now a British citizen and with numerous football coaching badges and grassroots team management positions to his name, Shayan joined Newcastle United Foundation six years ago.

Since then, he has applied himself to a number of Premier League programmes, including Primary Stars and Kicks and his expertise saw him become a primary school specialist in September 2019.

Shayan also uses his personal experiences to help others, particularly non-English speaking students in Newcastle primary schools.

Most recently, Shayan has supported the Kakrash family who fled Iran to live peacefully in the UK. The family – Jamal, 35, alongside his wife Sadat, 25, and two children Dyar, eight, and Sakar, three – could not speak English and struggled to integrate into their new home in the Walker area.

Staff at West Walker Primary School called on the Foundation, knowing Shayan had previously supported non-English speaking students at the school and others at Percy Main Primary.

Speaking in Farsi with the Kakrash family, he has helped register Sakar for a school placement and helped her parents and older brother to install school apps to keep in touch with teachers and the community during lockdown.

As a School Project Officer at the Foundation, Shayan’s role sees him leading Premier League Primary Stars sessions across a number of schools in the North East, developing agility, balance and coordination, as well as the principles of team games.

Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “Shayan is a credit to the Foundation and all of his colleagues are incredibly proud of him and everything he has achieved both personally and professionally.

“He demonstrates the core values of our charity every single day and his care for the communities around him is completely authentic.

“The work Shayan has done recently at West Walker is just scratching the surface and the fact he is being recognised as part of the Premier League Charitable Fund 10-year anniversary celebrations is a fitting tribute to his hard work and dedication to helping others.”

In that decade, millions of people across England and Wales have benefited from football clubs’ provision of inclusive programmes, which address important issues and increase sporting, educational and employment opportunities. Visit premierleague.com for more information.

For more information on Newcastle United Foundation’s School Programmes bringing the curriculum to life for pupils aged four to 18 using PE, PSHE, literacy and numeracy, visit nufoundation.org.uk


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