Club hit high standards once again.
Colchester United has been awarded 'The Football League Family Excellence Award' for the 2015/16 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 44 clubs from across all three divisions of The Football League have been given the Award for 2016, 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 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.
In achieving the award, Colchester United has been recognised as offering superb entertainment for families at the Weston Homes Community Stadium throughout the 2015/16 season, engaging with young fans and families through such initiatives as Eddie's Nest, our live music offering on matchdays and loads of activities for young fans.
The U's were also shortlisted for four other awards on the day, with staff friendliness, the activities around a matchday, information provided to supporters and the efforts of Eddie the Eagle all praised.
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.
"This season has seen a third campaign in a row where the club has enjoyed crowd growth," Tim said.
"A big part of this growth is down to our efforts around making the stadium a more welcoming place on a matchday and we are delighted that our efforts to build a fanbase for the future are being acknowledged."
In announcing the successful clubs, Football League Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: "The 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 Clubs' success and our partnership with both Channel 5 & 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."
Six clubs have secured the Award in every year they have been eligible to receive it - Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town and Milton Keynes Dons, Cardiff City and Reading. Wigan Athletic 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 2015/16 season.