Williams and Veltman receive PFA Community Champions award

Honour recognises their work with AITC in the local community.

By Jacob Heath • 31 May 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Joel Veltman and Victoria Williams with their PFA Community Champion awards.

Albion in the Community's official player ambassadors, Joel Veltman and Victoria Williams, have been honoured for their community work in the 2022/23 season.

Both Victoria and Joel have been named as Professional Footballers Association (PFA) Community Champions for their contributions to the local community.

Joel has shown a huge commitment to supporting Albion in the Community's work this season, spending a significant amount of time meeting local children over the past eight months.

In that time Joel has helped deliver books to primary school children for World Book Day, met with disability footballers to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our disability football programme, held a Q&A for aspiring young footballers in Lancing, and much more beyond.

By James Boardman
Victoria high-fives a young player at one of our AITC Kicks sessions

Joel said: "I've loved meeting so many amazing young people this season.

"Our charity does some brilliant work in the local area and I'm always happy to come and support them. It's always nice to see the smiles on the children's faces when we meet."

Victoria has been Albion in the Community's player ambassador for three seasons in a row, showing consistent support for the local community and helping to raise the profile of the women's game in Sussex.

This season she made a surprise visit to children at a Premier League Kicks session in Brighton, and met with players at an inclusive football festival in Lancing.

Victoria was pleased to have been nominated for this award: "It's nice to be recognised with this award, it's always great to go out and meet the kids.

"I've been AITC's ambassador for a few years now and in that time I've been lucky enough to see a lot of their community work first-hand."

By James Boardman
Joel attended an AITC event to mark World Book Day.

After five years at the Albion, Victoria is leaving the club at the end of the 2022/23 season.

Matt Dorn, CEO at Albion in the Community, praised her significant support for the charity: "Victoria has been an outstanding ambassador over the past three years, consistently showing us fantastic support and real enthusiasm. She will be missed by all of us at AITC.

"Both Joel and Victoria have been brilliant for us this year, lending us their support and helping us to create unforgettable moments for the children we work with.

"Joel has really taken to the role in his first year as ambassador, while Victoria has shown us the same level of support she always has over the past three years.

"They've shown a real desire to get involved and meet as many local people as they can, and it's amazing to see how players can inspire the young people who attend our sessions. Congratulations to them both, and thank you to all of the many players who have supported us this season."