Today is a very exciting day for the Foundation, as we officially open the Junior Fanzone – a dedicated area within The Venue for our young supporters. Thanks to support from the Premier League Fans Fund, we have been able to decorate and equip the area with the Junior Fanzone theme, a dedicated TV, PlayStation, bean bags and team colour co-ordinated furnishings – making a brilliant, dedicated space for all our young supporters.
The area will host pre-match activities for all our junior supporters prior to each of our home games – led by our great team of Foundation coaches – do bring your young supporters along to enjoy what’s on offer – it’s located alongside the ten-pin bowling.
The Junior Fanzone is also the area where our newly launched football birthday parties will be held. Have you seen the brilliant junior supporter birthday party bags we now have available for all our birthday parties? Each bag contains a multitude of TNSFC and Spot the Dog themed goodies, and comes free as part of all Football birthday party packages – bronze, silver or gold – the packages are an ideal way of celebrating the birthdays of young aspiring footballers. Call us on 01691 889791 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. Further information is also included on our notice board at The Venue.
Each week we try to highlight different areas of the Foundation’s activities. This week, is the turn of our youth and community engagement work – led by our youth and community co-ordinator, Wayne Greenshields and supported by our Foundation youth officer, Luke Barry.
Wayne and Luke work tirelessly to engage young people across the area in positive activities. They are currently running weekly drop-in youth cafes in Gobowen Pavilion (Mondays 5pm – 6.30pm) and St Johns Church Weston Rhyn (Mondays 7pm – 8.30pm); a junior youth club at Weston Rhyn Primary School (Thursdays 4.15pm – 6.15pm); a Youth Club at Whittington Senior Citizens Hall (Thursdays 7pm – 8.30pm); and Sunday afternoon social inclusion football league (Oak Street MUGA, Oswestry between 3pm – 5pm).
Luke also provides a regular 3 hour multi-sport activity session for Oswestry’s weekly Wednesday night youth club run by Shropshire Youth Association at The Centre in Oak Street, Oswestry.
We will be welcoming many of the children and young people who attend our youth and community sessions to this afternoon’s match (this of course fits nicely with Wayne’s other key role as Fan Engagement officer). We hope that they all have a great time, and that they will continue to attend matches and activities here at The Venue.
Developing our junior and youth supporter base is a key priority for the Foundation and the Football Club, and being visible in local communities is an important part of this. Football offers children and young people opportunities to develop skills, to socialise, and to develop their mental and physical well-being – through our youth engagement work, we aim to involve children and young people in positive activities which lead to lifelong associations with the Club, but which also support individuals to be positive contributors to their local community.
In concluding, this week’s update – I was delighted recently to meet the newest recruit to The Venue front of house team. This particular individual first started his association with the Foundation as a participant at the Friday night All In activity sessions. Having settled in to All In, he was soon attending our holiday activity sessions in various locations, and also volunteering at TNS in the Park, developing his football skills as well as his confidence – even dressing up as Spot the Dog for us on a few occasions!
What a great reward now to see this very personable young man working with the team at The Venue, and what a great advertisement for the very positive difference that our activities can make to the lives of young people!