Rovers have been named the most family-friendly club in the EFL after being crowned the overall winner of the EFL Family Club of the Year award.
Rovers received the trophy at the 2019 EFL Awards held in London. On the same everning, Matty Blair was officially crowned Sky Bet League One Community Player of the Year and John Marquis and Herbie Kane received their awards for being named in the League One Team of the Year.
Earlier in the season, Rovers were named League One Family Club of the Year – the second time the club have achieved this – and fought off tough competition from the other divisional winners Middlesbrough (Championship) and Mansfield Town (League Two), to take the overall award.
The trophy represents the culmination of years of hard work by Rovers to make the Keepmoat Stadium a fantastic day out for all the family and in doing so ensuring that the club’s fanbase is growing year on year with more and more children making Rovers their team of choice.
Rovers offer a wide-range of family-themed activities on matchdays including games, colouring activities, Xboxes and PS4s in the junior fanzone called Donny Dog’s Kennel, provide a food delivery service for young fans with the club’s mascot Donny Dog delivering meals directly to their seats and half time, and creating memorable moments for first-time fans.
The club has also been providing more opportunities than ever for young people to meet the players and create memorably moments from inviting young fans to the training ground to film fun videos with the players for the newly-launched DDTV, behind the scenes access for 26 primary school children as part of the club’s annual Junior Takeover Day, and hosting a young fans panel so that the fans of the future can provide a voice when it comes to shaping the club.
As well as the above, the club has made a huge effort to raise awareness of mental health. The club worked with local charity b:friend which aims to fight loneliness in elderly people, and hosts regular social cafes for Mind service users providing free teas, coffees and cake to people who just want to have a bit of a get together. Most notably, the club launched a vast competition which went out to all primary schools in Doncaster giving them a chance to design the Rovers third kit in association with Calm and the NHS. The project not only offered a unique opportunity to design a professional football team’s third kit, it also got young people in Doncaster talking and thinking about mental health.
Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin said: “The award is testament to the enormous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to make Doncaster Rovers a welcoming environment for everyone in the community. Families are at the heart of everything we do from the board, to the players, to the staff and everyone else who contributes to making a trip to the Keepmoat Stadium a memorable and enjoyable one. It’s in the fibre of the football club which is why we see people like Matty Blair winning League One Community Player of the Year for a third consecutive season.
“2018/19 has been an outstanding year of community work and family-focused activities at Doncaster Rovers, but this is something we strive to achieve year on year and keep improving all the time. The things we do at this football club can really make a difference, that is shown by the design a third shirt campaign this season, things like that are very special.”
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