Amex stadium

Brighton & Hove Albion: More Than Just a Football Club

Brighton & Hove Albion is the pride of football in the city. The club is currently in eighth position in the English Premier League and recently reached the Round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League before falling to the might of the Italian Serie A giants Roma.

Established in the EPL since being automatically promoted from the EFL Championship in 2016/17, the club has gone from strength to strength, first climbing into the elite tier’s top 10 under Graham Potter in 2021/22 before current manager Roberto De Zerbi took The Segulls to a sixth position finish last time out and an historical first European campaign this season.

Safest Betting Sites is a guide for the top sites in the UK, and these online sportsbooks offer odds of 14/1 on Brighton reaching the Premier League’s top six again in this campaign. Competing with clubs like Man Utd (4/6), Chelsea (10/3) and Newcastle (11/2) for a chance to play a second consecutive European season shows how far this seaside team has come in a short space of time.

Although Seagulls fans should rightly revere De Zerbi and his squad, you can bet that Brighton & Hove Albion is making local supporters proud with its endeavours away from the glitz and glamour of matchdays at the American Express (Amex) Stadium. Through the club’s Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation, opportunities have opened up for young footballers in the city, and several charities benefit too.

In recent years, the foundation has held fundraising initiatives, including general knowledge quizzes, spot-the-ball competitions, cycling, walking and running events, golf days and a “Blue and White Week”.

In the latter, the Brighton & Hove Albion mascots, Gully and Sally, visit schools and businesses around Sussex, encouraging community members to participate in fun challenges to raise money for the Albion in the Community (AITC) charity. Sussex residents are encouraged to wear blue and white, the Brighton club’s colours, for the weeklong charity drive.

During Blue and White Week, all residents who sign up to be Community Champions gain entry to an end-of-season draw to win a Brighton & Hove Albion jersey signed by the entire Albion team.

The football club, through its foundation and AITC, has done a lot to promote football and other sports for the disadvantaged and disabled. For example, Brighton & Hove Albion Amputee FC (BHAAFC) assists aspiring amputee footballers to play competitively in leagues and reach levels they could, otherwise, only have dreamed of.

BHAAFC competes in a league programme that includes other clubs like Man City, Arsenal, Portsmouth and Everton while also competing in a domestic cup competition. Participation doesn’t stop there, though. Successful players could be selected for their countries and play in the Amputee World Cup, which takes place every four years.

While the BHAAFC is a successful Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation and AITC initiative, it isn’t the only one. Their Disability Talent Hub sends scouts out to identify and recruit promising young people for the charity to assist and develop.

A prime example is Faye Williams, recruited by AITC as a 12-year-old. She began playing with the Brighton Mens Hearing Impairment team, with players at least four years her senior. Through hard work and dedication, Faye made foundation history with her selection to the England Deaf Futsal squad in 2022.

The “Gamechangers” Careers Aspiration Day is one of the many initiatives the BHAFC Foundation has to assist young people in choosing future careers. One young Crawley resident, 20-year-old Harry Radenhurst, has gone on to open a boxing gym after attending Gamechangers and receiving valuable input from the teachers present at the foundation’s Amex-held career day.

With the help and guidance of foundation staff, Harry’s gym, Coast2Coast, has been operating as an NPO for over 18 months while the young entrepreneur continues to study towards his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science. He is immensely thankful for the part Brighton & Hove Albion’s foundation played in helping him fulfil his dreams.

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