Everton star Yerry Mina says he feels "honoured" after being recognised for his charitable and community efforts off the pitch by being named the Club’s PFA Community Champion for 2018-19.
Signed in summer 2018 from Barcelona, the Colombia international embraced the work of Everton in the Community [EitC] and enthusiastically supported the Club's official charity with several appearances during the season.
Mina is without exception warmly received and welcomed by EitC's participants due to the player's infectious personality and natural gift for making everyone feel special and valued.
The Everton defender attended the charity’s annual disability awards, which celebrate the achievements of players from each of EitC’s nine football teams, and took the time to celebrate with each player individually, as well as signing autographs and posing for photos with scores of guests.
The 24-year-old also played a key part in EitC's annual showcase event at USM Finch Farm in October. In common with his teammates, Mina pledged his ongoing support to the charity. Mina was part of the group that played football with EitC's Down Syndrome team and jubilantly celebrated every goal, while ensuring each individual participant sourced huge enjoyment from the activity.
As part of the charity’s celebrations around World Down Syndrome Day, Mina joined Everton right-back Seamus Coleman in inviting the Down Syndrome team to Finch Farm for an extra-special coaching session. The group were welcomed like old friends by both Mina and Coleman before a training session and small-sided game with some incredible goal celebrations in front of the participants' watching family and friends.
Mina was presented with his award at USM Finch Farm by EitC Chief Executive Richard Kenyon.
“I am very honoured to win this award," said Mina. "I have enjoyed all my visits with Everton in the Community and am very happy to get involved and help and I have made lots of new friends.”
Kenyon added: “Since joining the Club last summer, Yerry has embraced the work of Everton in the Community and thrown himself into every single opportunity with a massive smile on his face.
"He always goes out of his way to make our participants feel extra special and has really enjoyed the activities in which he's participated.
"The ongoing support of the playing squad and management team is really important for our charity and we are extremely appreciative of their backing in all that we do.”
John Hudson, PFA Director of Corporate Social Responsibility said: “The PFA believes that players who make that extra effort and contribution during the season should be recognised for their support and involvement in their local communities.
"The award will hopefully raise awareness of the great contribution made by players and importance many of our members attach to their roles off the pitch. We would like to offer our congratulations to Yerry on being Everton’s recipient of the 2018-19 PFA Community Champion Award.”