Football clubs nowadays have influence in many areas of the community. One area where they can really make a difference is in the welfare of their supporters and those living in the local community. When I first became involved in the supporters movement, the concept was called ‘The Club is the Hub’. It was about Social Responsibility, Welfare, Education, Good Neighbouring, Fitness and Equality. The aim was to grow the club within the community, making it so significant that the community could not do without it. It was also seen as a vehicle which could bring communities together. Since then football clubs have done a great deal to achieve those aims through their community programmes.
It was recently reported how Walking Football could help those who have had strokes. It can also be a method to encourage over 50’s and those with mobility problems take part in physical exercise. There is also the social aspect to the game that encourages interaction between the players on the day and prevents people from becoming isolated. The game is open to all abilities and is also seeing a growth in numbers of ladies taking part at many clubs.
Cambridge United runs Walking Football sessions each Thursday between 11am and midday. It costs five pounds. The club also organises weekly sessions for the following football-related activities:
· Frame football,
· Girls only pan-disability football,
· Down's Syndrome football,
· Ambulant Cerebral Palsy football,
· Autistic Spectrum Disorder & Learning Difficulties/Disabilities football
If you would like to know more about these events or know someone who would please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Phil will provide details of times, costs and locations.
Supporters Trusts, in my view, are still as important as ever. During the past year, there has been an increase in the number of clubs where supporters are in conflict with their owners over the way in which clubs are run. At Cambridge United we are fortunate that everyone is working together in the growth of the club. There may sometimes be differences in views, opinions and approach; however many of us recall when this was not the case and a return to those days would not benefit anyone. CFU will be holding its AGM at the club on the 20th March with Shaun Derry, Dave Doggett and Jez George in attendance. This will provide our members with the opportunity to ask questions of those in charge.
In the last article I mentioned the matchday programme. I am pleased to see that the league table is now included along with a new article called Past Times written by Andrew Bennet, whose knowledge of club is phenomenal and never stops amazing me. Future programmes will also include more statistics.
Have you noticed the team sheets around the ground on match days? I have started putting them up after 2pm, when the team news is released. They are situated at the entrance of the Habbin, in the Dublin Suite, at the CFU van and the programme hut behind the NRE.
This month I will be addressing issues concerning the how the winning numbers for the half time 50/50 tickets are announced, so that everyone at the match can know whether they have won before they leave the ground. If you miss the numbers, they are always posted at the CFU van.
As SLO I upload to the CFU blog page match day details for our travelling supporters, usually using information from the away club’s SLO. The EFL is now looking at improving facilities for supporters, both at home and when they travel away and is sending mystery shoppers to clubs to inform feedback on the facilities, communications and match day experience.
You can follow CFU and me via the following sources.