Sales and marketing director Phil King on the award nominationCarlisle United were delighted to receive notification this week that we are one of six clubs nominated for the EFL Family Club of the Year award for 2016 following some excellent community work done by every department at the club.
Sales and Marketing director Phil King said: “We’re extremely proud to have made it to the last six for this award and it’s a deserved pat on the back to everyone that we’re in the running for it.
“The nomination panel recognised the ongoing work we do with schools and soccer camps through John Halpin and The Community Sports Trust, as well as their very popular Saturday Match Club and extra-curricular activities.
“Along with that the appearances the manager, his staff and players do on a weekly basis received very good feedback and it was noted that we don’t just go to training sessions or assemblies. We’ve conducted a number of home and personal visits which have made a real difference to young fans and their families at times when they needed a lift.”
“The new pricing structure for families and young fans was also noted by the panel,” he added. “A Junior Season ticket (11 to 17 year olds) is equivalent to entry at £5 per game, with under-11s getting in for just £10 for the full season. Add the Cumberland Building Society’s Community Ticket Scheme to that, with up to 300 children getting in free of charge every game, and you can see that we are doing everything we can to engage with the younger generation. The Blues Store have helped us with that with targeted and very successful promotions for everything from small souvenirs to leisure and training kit.
“We also relaunched our Junior Blue scheme, with training sessions and parties with the players top of the agenda, and we introduced a free membership category [Olga’s Army] to give young supporters the chance to get to know the club before becoming a Junior Blue.
“A particular thank you goes to Sky Bet, who helped us to reinstate the Family Zone in the Pioneer Stand after the floods, because that has become a hugely popular match day activity for fans of all ages. Local radio station CFM also donated some toys for us to use in there and that has helped us to create a really good and fun family orientated environment.”
And the United director also confirmed that the annual Fun Day, held on the stadium grounds, had been seen as another key aspect of the nomination.
“The Fun Day has become part of the summer calendar for the City and County and we really are proud of that,” he said. “The footfall is anywhere between three and four thousand people and everyone goes away with smiles on their faces, which is what it is all about.”
United’s work with disabled supporters, particularly the Powerchair Football team, which recently won an award for additional funding from the Wembley Stadium National Trust, has also been recognised.
The club also recently received two awards for its work in the community at the local annual Business Awards Dinner in recognition of our activities and efforts – these were Community Involvement of the Year and Social Enterprise of the Year. We again received the Family Excellence award from the EFL - for the fifth season running.
“There is a lot of good work done in the community, both by the football staff and by our admin and CST staff,” Mr King said. “Reaching the final six for a prestigious award such as this is a really big thank you to everyone for their efforts.
“We knew we had a strong case when we put our entry together and that has been borne out by the judging panel. Win or not, it’s good for us all to have been put forward as one of only two clubs from our division and as one of 72 clubs from the EFL.”