AFC Wimbledon secures honour from English Football League
AFC Wimbledon has been recognised by the English Football League for providing a “superb” match day experience for families during the 2015/16 season.
Since 2007, the EFL's Family Excellence Award” acknowledges the outstanding experience provided by clubs for young fans and families as part of a scheme that won the Gold Award at the European Professional Football Leagues’ Best Practice Awards.
A total of 44 clubs from across all three divisions of the English Football League have been given the Award for 2016, a significant increase in the benchmark standard being applied by the judging panel. More than ever this year, English Football League clubs are providing families with engaging family areas and offering innovative matchday entertainment that delivers a “money can’t buy experience” for young fans.
With an increase in the number of juniors and families now attending matches around the country, it is testament to clubs’ work to attract them, and an indication of the challenge and importance of retaining them for generations to come.
Chief Executive Erik Samuelson is proud of AFC Wimbledon’s reputation as a family club.
“Almost everyone I speak to who comes to their first game at the Cherry Red Records Stadium comments on the friendly and welcoming atmosphere so it is good to see this reflected by the club receiving the award for Family Excellence,” said Erik. “We have to work particularly hard to overcome the limitations caused by our current stadium and we are committed, should we get the go-ahead to return to Wimbledon, to making the matchday experience at a new stadium even better for families.”
In achieving the award, AFC Wimbledon has been recognised as offering superb entertainment for families at the Cherry Red Records Stadium throughout the 2015/16 season. This includes engaging with young fans through initiatives such as the introduction of the improved family area and activities before the game, including the inflatable football shoot-out, run by the Foundation.
In announcing the successful clubs, English Football League Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “The English Football League Family Excellence Award continues to provide clubs with a standard to aspire to. The objective of the Award is to recognise those clubs who have successfully attracted more families and young fans to matches.
“Innovation is at the heart of the clubs’ success and our partnership with both Channel 5 and Nickelodeon (Nick Kicks) is part of our central contribution in supporting clubs’ work in this important area by increasing the profile of our games among the next generation of fans.”
The Award recipients are decided by an independent assessment using real families commissioned by The English Football League, at all clubs, during the 2015/16 season.