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Outstanding Matchday Experience – Aston Villa bag Gold EFL Family Excellence 2018 Award

Aston Villa Football Club has been recognised by the English Football League (EFL) for its continued efforts to bring the very best matchday experience to its family-fan-base, by receiving the Family Excellence Gold award.
The EFL Family Excellence award is an initiative rewarding clubs that deliver outstanding matchday experiences for families. On two occasions throughout the 2017/18 season, families ‘mystery’ shopped Villa Park across a variety of touchpoints. The families scored their experiences across areas such as first impressions, stadium vicinity, refreshments and everything that happens inside of the stadium during the event.
Villa offer an array of activities for its family-fan-base. The Family Fan Zone has been a huge hit with supporters since it opened in 2012, creating a big matchday buzz for children, parents, grandparents and friends.
Other activities promoted to Villa’s family-fan-base include the Cub Membership and My Home Debut.
The club has invoked its ‘Part of the Pride’ campaign for the 2017/18 season, a key focus which places the fan at the heart of the club’s activity. The overall aim is to increase the engagement and community feel within the club.
Adam Lowe, Marketing Manager, Aston Villa Football Club, said: “Aston Villa Football Club is delighted to have received the Family Excellence Gold Award this season. This achievement is a real testament to the extraordinary experience we provide to the families that attend on matchday.”
“We’re extremely passionate at the club about continuing to attract and retain families in the modern football era. We will continue to be family friendly, welcoming, exciting and an entertaining club, in which everyone involved feels ‘Part of the Pride’.”
“The Part of the Pride campaign is about bringing everyone together at the club; the fans, staff and players, making sure everyone feels part of the pride. The EFL Gold Award rewards these ambitions, and I am really excited about the future successes of the club.”
A spokesperson at the EFL has commented on the club’s efforts this season, “During both visits, Aston Villa’s commitment to growing its family fan base was clearly evident. A wide variety of touch points were executed with professionalism and warmth, in particular the Fan Zone, an activity which has emerged this season as one of the greatest examples of matchday engagement we’ve ever seen at the EFL.


80 turf professionals see Charterhouse machines in action at Thetford GC

Charterhouse Turf Machinery, in conjunction with dealers Ben Burgess GroundsCare, recently entertained over 80 groundsmen and greenkeepers at an open day at Thetford Golf Club. The day included a technical talk from the STRI and gave Turf Managers the opportunity to share best practices with other industry professionals, as well seeing several practical demonstrations from Charterhouse Turf Machinery and their products.
Four stations hosted talks and demonstrations on all areas of surface maintenance including aeration, scarification and topdressing. Antony Kirwan, Course Manager at Romford Golf Club attended the event and added, “It was a very well organised and well attended event. Walking round the various stations, it was great to see a large range of machinery in action, not just from Charterhouse but also BLEC, Rink and Graden. The various presentations and demonstrations covered all areas of surface maintenance – I found it a very worthwhile day.”
Nick Darking, Sales Manager at Charterhouse TM added, “We had a superb day for it weathewise, and would like to pass on a big thanks to Ben Burgess for getting a great crowd together and helping to deliver a comprehensive and informative event. We find these sorts of gatherings very worthwhile, not only being able to show what our products can really do, but also to spend some time just talking to our customers.”


Manchester City Receive Level Playing Field Centre Of Excellence Award

•    Manchester City receive Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence Award in recognition of the accessible facilities and services offered at the Etihad Stadium.
•    The Etihad Stadium becomes one of only five stadia in the UK to be officially recognised by the organisation.
Manchester City is delighted to have received the Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence Award in recognition of the accessible facilities and services offered at the Etihad Stadium.
The award, which acknowledges sporting venues that demonstrate the highest access and inclusion standards in accommodating disabled supporters and visitors on match and non-match days has only been presented to five football stadia in the UK to date.
To qualify for the award, the club or venue undergoes a Level Playing Field professional access audit and must demonstrate that it meets all good practice standards, equality and access legislation and guidance for accessible sports stadia.
Manchester City’s accessibility initiatives include audio commentary which provides a specific service for blind and partially sighted supporters, changing places facilities with shower provision, winter packs with handwarmers and foil ponchos, as well as a shuttle service for those who require assistance from car parks to the stadium.
Over the course of this season, the Club has also introduced online ticketing for disabled supporters as well as a series of face to face meetings with club staff on a match day titled ‘Meet the Access Team’, where supporters can ask questions, provide feedback or discuss individual access requirements.
In addition to accessibility provision at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City also provides free sporting and social opportunities for disabled people across Greater Manchester through the Club’s foundation, City in the Community. Initiatives include; Powerchair, PAN Disability and Amputee Football which form part of the foundation’s award winning ‘One City’ disability programme, which now caters for a total of nine different disability groups on a weekly basis.
Commenting on Manchester City’s commitment to accessibility, Level Playing Field Chief Executive, Owain Davies, said:
“Manchester City are an excellent example of a club making continued improvements to its disabled supporter’s facilities and services. We are particularly impressed by the “can do” culture throughout the club and based on the findings of the access audit and in recognition of the work that has been done and continues to be done, the LPF Board of Trustees are delighted to award the LPF Centre of Excellence”.
Operations Director at Manchester City, Danny Wilson, expressed his pride in the work that the Club carries out for disabled supporters:
“At Manchester City we’re committed to ensuring our facilities are accessible to all of our supporters, not just at the Etihad Stadium, but within the wider campus and Academy Stadium too, so we’re delighted to have received the Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence Award.
We’ll continue to work hard to develop our accessibility provision in respect of both facilities and services to further enhance the experience of disabled supporters and visitors at the Club”.

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