Club achieves Excellence Award, plus wins further family accolade.
After recently scooping the Family Club of the Year award at the Football League Awards, Colchester United has now also been awarded 'The Football League Family Excellence Award' for the 2014/15 season.
Created in 2007, the Award recognises 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 42 clubs from across all three divisions of The Football League have been given the Award for 2015, with a significant increase in the benchmark standard being applied by the judging panel.
More than ever this year, 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 (in the last six seasons junior attendance in The Football League has risen by 31% compared with a 6% increase in overall attendance during the same period), this is both testament to clubs’ work to attract them, and an indication of the challenge and importance of retaining them for generations to come.
What's more, we were also shortlisted for a further six of the remaining eleven awards on the night: Happy Shopper, Read All About It, If The Football Doesn't Entertain You, This Will..., Making The Most Of Your Mascot, Best Family Area In Stadium, and Most Improved Family Experience.
The U's picked up the "Welcome to the Club" award for best information online and offline for families attending for the first time.
Not only did we win the overall Family Club of the Year and pick up the Family Excellence award, the club also picked up a further award at the seminar at Birmingham City on Thursday.
In achieving the award, Colchester United has been recognised as offering superb entertainment for families at Weston Homes Community Stadium throughout the 2014/15 season, engaging with young fans and families through such initiatives as the U11s for FREE, Eddie's Nest and Eddie's Mailbox and much more.
The U's are proud to have achieved the Family Excellence Award this season, and General Manager Tim Waddington was keen to stress the importance of ensuring the club engages with the next generation of supporters.
"We are hugely proud to have been chosen as Family Club of the Year and to have achieved the Family Excellence standard," Tim said.
"To be shortlisted for a number of the other awards shows the breadth of work that has gone into ensuring we are a true community club with a real intent to build a fanbase for the future."
In announcing the successful clubs, Football League Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: "The Football League Family Excellence Award gives clubs a standard to aspire to when planning their efforts to attract more families and young fans to their matches.
"It is hugely encouraging to see so many clubs receiving the accolade, demonstrating The Football League’s ongoing commitment to securing the next generation of fans."
6 clubs secured the award for the eighth year running – Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Milton Keynes Dons, Shrewsbury Town and Tranmere Rovers.
York City has been awarded the accolade for the first time.
The award recipients are decided by an independent assessment using real families that has been commissioned by The Football League, at all 72 League clubs, during the 2014/15 season.