Cheltenham Town Football Club are working to encourage more women and girls to first team games at the Completely-Suzuki Stadum, all thanks to the 2023/24 Premier League Fans Fund.
Driven by the Cheltenham Town Coummunity Trust, Robins Trust and Cheltenham Town Her Game Too, the club are striving to see more female fans at our matches.
The fund is an initiative armed with the aim of enabling community organisations to be able to deliver fan focused projects, helping bring clubs closer to the community.
A number of objectives were set out by the Premier League for clubs to achieve throughout the work made possible by the fund:
- Ensure that fans and local communities feel inspired and engaged and involved in the club in a meaningful way.
- Grow fans' sense of belonging.
- Enhance meaningful fan engagement.
- Engage more fans from historically under-represented groups.
- Use the power of football to develop positive behaviours.
- Promote integration and chmapion equality, diversity and inclusion.
- Strengthen communities with a culture of inclusion, volunteering and social action.
- Enhance physical and mental health and wellbeing.
- Further strengthen the link between the club, community and fan groups.
Speaking about the importance of the fund, Robins Trust joint vice chair Jenny Hancock said:
"I think this fan group in particular has been under represented in the past but the fans fund provides us with a great opportunity to change that.
"We can focus on what the matchday experience means to them as well as seeing the community trust delivering sessions for women and girls all over the county.
The first of these sessions were held at Bournside School last Thursday, with all the participants receiving tickets to our fixture with Leyton Orient this weekend.
Community Coach Izzy Cook ran the session and shared her thoughts surrounding the brilliant growth of the womens game and the importance of the trusts fund work.
"It's so important for us as a community trust," began Cook.
"Having the platform that we do, we have a really important role to enable women and girls to play and attend more sport.
“During the next year we will be delivering outreach visits to a range of settings including secondary schools, youth groups, Universities, football teams, and women’s groups delivering physical activity sessions and football sessions.
"In these 38 unique sessions we will speak to participants about the five steps to mental wellbeing and the importance of being active.
"We will also be delivering a female-friendly fan zone on 8 selected matchdays over the next year that will include a fun zone and ground tour which will be free for participants to attend.“
The clubs Her Game Too ambassador Kelly-Marie Selby continued:
"The growth of the womens game in the last few years has been incredible and inspirational.
"It has inspired a whole new generation of girls to come and watch football.
"That's what this project is all about. We're creating an environment at Cheltenham Town for women and girls to feel safe to come and enjoy watching the team in action."