Rowan and Tish visit Community CentreAhead of Reading’s dedicated game against Charlton Athletic tomorrow, Royals players Aaron Tshibola and Rowan Liburd visited Fairview Community Centre alongside Rishi Jain, Kick It Out’s Football League Development Officer.
Midfielder Aaron and striker Rowan held a lively discussion with a group of young people about the meaning of equality, inclusion, discrimination and diversity, chatting informally with the group about how these concepts can be applied to everyday life, as well as what can happen if groups are not inclusive.
The players gave examples of this and went on to answer questions about their backgrounds, including their previous clubs and how they integrated into their current squad.
Aaron said: “It was easy for me because the team are so great. They helped guide me and get me out of my shell so it wasn’t too difficult. It was a massive step up but because our team is so close, it was easy.
“I told Rowan to move in with me and guided him from there and we help each other on the pitch too. Hartlepool, where I was on loan last season, is very different to Reading. The standard of play is different and is a big step up. It was a big transition but I’m really happy to be here. Hopefully we can keep our form going because we’re good enough to get promoted automatically.”
Rowan said: “I played at an American university and there isn’t too much of a difference playing in America than there has been in the UK. I want to help the club in any way I can.
“It’s great to come down to Fairview Community Centre and raise awareness of Kick It Out. It’s a really important campaign, and being around young people and talking with them is really good.”
Aaron agreed: “These events are massively important because you don’t always realise… as young kids you get comments on the street and it’s really important not to react. So for you Kick It Out to come and tell us we can report it via an app or online, that’s great for young people.”