Former Newcastle United Women captain Brooke Cochrane has been named as Professional Footballers’ Association Community Champion for the 2021/22 season, celebrating her commitment to supporting others.
The PFA Community Champion accolade is awarded in recognition of players endeavouring to make a difference to the world around them, often getting involved in charity work with their club’s associated foundations.
Cochrane, who inspired thousands when she led out Newcastle United Women to a record-breaking crowd at St. James’ Park last season, is a dedicated ambassador of Newcastle United Foundation’s Be A Game Changer mental health awareness campaign.
Sharing her own journey to better mental health, the former right back has worked hard to break down stigmas surrounding mental health issues – proving to be a positive role model for her teammates and particularly women and girls in sport in the North East.
Cochrane’s impact through Be A Game Changer has already seen her named as Female Ambassador of the Year at the Foundation’s Be A Game Changer Awards and in February, the former skipper delivered an inspirational assembly for young people in secondary school during Children’s Mental Health Week – sharing her story, advice and signposts to mental health support for pupils.
On receiving the PFA Community Champion Award, Cochrane said: “I’m delighted to receive the PFA Community Champion award – it’s incredibly rewarding for me to give back to the community I grew up in. Playing for Newcastle United Women has been an honour for me and as captain, I’ve had the privilege of seeing how football inspires people of all ages in our community.
“It’s so important that we give young people the opportunity to do whatever they want with their lives – no matter where they’re from, their background or what they want to achieve. I hope by sharing my experiences I can be an example and inspire younger generations for the future."
While captaining Newcastle United Women, Cochrane continued her work with Newcastle United Foundation – working daily in school and community venues across the North East to inspire all young people.
She also leads on activation for Women and Girls’ Football Development, last season welcoming former Premier League defender Eartha Pond to a football fun day for young girls exploring their future as the next generation of women footballers.
Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “Brooke is an incredible role model and has been a true inspiration to countless young women and girls throughout her career.
“She is a very worthy winner of this accolade and should feel immensely proud of her achievements which have helped change attitudes and break down stigmas across mental health issues and women’s participation in sport and football.”
Previous winners of the PFA Community Champion Award include the Magpies’ Allan Saint-Maximin, Paul Dummett and Newcastle United Foundation Ambassador Sean Longstaff.
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