Matthew Neville

Record number of EFL Championship clubs achieve Family Excellence status

A total of 65 EFL clubs have achieved Family Excellence status for the 2021/22 season, 12 of which have been crowned as ‘Gold Award’ winners for their “exemplary work” in engaging families on matchdays.

The record-breaking number, up from 63 Clubs in 2019/20, recognises continuous improvement and best practice in family engagement across the League and rewards clubs in their efforts to attract and retain young fans of the future.

Given the particularly challenging set of circumstances faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, EFL Clubs have worked to ensure supporters have been welcomed back safely this season, while exploring “new and innovative” ways to continue to boost the matchday experience for young people and families.

Now in its 14th year, the Family Excellence Scheme is an ongoing consultation programme, which aims to drive continuous improvement and best practice in family engagement across the leagues.

The scheme sees each EFL Club receive two ‘mystery family’ visits throughout the season, with their feedback and reports determining whether each respective club would achieve ‘Family Excellence’ status.

The year-on-year progress of EFL Clubs was also highlighted at the EFL Awards last month, with Ipswich Town named the Kin + Carta Family Club of the Year.

The Club has created a compelling matchday experience for families, including the Fan Zone: on a full-size 3G pitch next to Portman Road which is the “go to” pre-match destination with entertainment and activities which helps attract and retain young fans and families.

EFL chief executive, Trevor Birch, said: “I would like to congratulate the record number of Clubs that have achieved Family Excellence status this season. Ensuring a memorable matchday experience is vital to attract the next generation of young fans, so it’s great to see so many clubs excelling in this area”.

“Fans returning to EFL clubs in their millions this season has been fantastic to see and club staff should be commended for going the extra mile to make the matchdays engaging for families attending live games.”

The Gold Award Winners for 2021/22 are as follows; Blackburn Rovers, Doncaster Rovers, Exeter City, Fulham, Hull City, Luton Town, Mansfield Town, Middlesbrough, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield United, Stoke City, and Swindon Town.

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