Players who would usually be attending Albion in the Community’s football sessions for people with a disability were given the chance to quiz Dan Burn and Bernardo during an online Q&A.
Albion in the Community and the club organised the Q&A as a treat for the charity’s regular participants who are having to cope with not being able to attend their sessions and, in many cases, are shielding as part of the Covid-19 precautions due to underlying health conditions.
Many of the club’s season ticket holders who have a disability also joined in with the online chat and questions ranged from how the players are coping with lockdown, favourite moments in their careers, and tips on defending, to whether they were happy with their FIFA ratings, and what they liked most about living in Brighton and Hove.
One young fan with ambitions to become a top-level referee also asked for advice on what players think makes a good match official.
A small number of young people from Albion in the Community’s Premier League Kicks programme were also invited to take part as a reward for their fantastic recent work on the charity’s Top Bins personal development and wellbeing project and how they had adapted to lockdown to continue to keep up their progress.
It was the latest in a string of online Q&As organised by the club in recent weeks and Paul Brackley, disability manager at Albion in the Community, was grateful his participants were given the chance to meet two of their Albion heroes.
He said, “The last few weeks have been incredibly challenging for many of the people we work with and although we are still supporting people online and over the phone it has been additionally hard for them to go without their weekly football sessions.
“For them to have the chance to meet two of the Albion players, ask them questions, and talk to them online was amazing. We’ve had some brilliant feedback already from parents, including one dad who said his daughter hadn’t stopped running around the garden in excitement after getting to talk to Bernardo and Dan.
“We’re really grateful to Bernardo and Dan for giving up their time and I can’t stress enough how much of a lift it gave the people we work with who took part.”