Cheltenham Town have teamed up with Panda Medical and the Community Trust to distribute an initial 10,000 lateral flow tests at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium this week.
The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has seen an unprecedented demand for testing and the availability of devices is seen as key to reducing transmission in the new year.
With a mounting strain on the testing system, the club have stepped in to play a small part in tackling the increasing backlog.
The initiative is believed to be the first partnership of its kind involving a football club with a total of 25,000 kits available from tomorrow morning onwards.
"It shows the very special relationship we develop with our sponsors that we have been able to come together and supply lateral flow testing kits for the community of Cheltenham," said Vice Chairman Paul Bence.
"When Douglas from the Panda Medical Group suggested the initiative of providing a minimum 10,000 testing kits, our first thoughts were to how we could maximise the awareness around the town.
"Through this partnership we are able to use our standing in the community to positive effect yet again. It can help minimise local cases and support businesses and their employees to safely return to work. Of course it will give people the confidence to visit friends and relatives, too. It really shows that the club isn’t just about kicking a football around a field but about a community working together for shared goals."
The Cheltenham Town Community Trust has been supporting the local community throughout the pandemic and will be on hand to assist with the distribution process at the stadium.
"Football clubs are traditionally in the heart of the community and can play such an important part in supporting people's health and wellbeing," said Chief Executive Simon Perruzza.
"We are delighted to be involved with this fabulous initiative and to be able to provide this valuable service in such difficult times. A huge thank you to Panda Medical and the club."
The testing kits will be available from the stadium's club shop in the main car park on Tuesday (January 4) from 10am until Wednesday, January 12 (4pm). There will be a limit of five per household or 20 per business (although we will need to see a proof of directorship or similar).
We urge people to wear a mask on arrival and respect social distancing guidelines.
"We are proud to be partnering with the football club to distribute testing kits to the local community this way," said Douglas Campbell, Chairperson at Panda Medical Group.