Oxford United are one of 63 EFL clubs to have been awarded Family Excellence status for the 2019/20 season, reflecting the club’s continued commitment to attracting and engaging families and young fans at the Kassam Stadium.
During what became an unprecedented season for EFL football, the scheme recognises that family engagement continued to thrive in 2019/20, despite supporters being unable to attend live fixtures for the final part of the campaign.
The U’s received ‘mystery family’ visits during the 2019/20 Season, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, with the assessors’ feedback and reports determining whether the club would achieve ‘Family Excellence’ status.
The EFL’s Family Excellence Scheme sees each club assessed across a range of touchpoints, in order to reflect and report on the first-time family experience they encounter.
The U’s, who have receieved the award each season since they returned to the league in 2010 won praise for their signalling of what was available to young fans, their pull out junior section on the match programme, the friendly welcome given in Olly’s Den where activities including shoot outs and player visits happen each game and the way they involved families in all aspects of matchday. First time fans watch the warm up in the dug out, often joining Karl Robinson who told us everyone is welcome at the U’s:
“It’s great for the club to get official recognition once again because we go out of our way to make everyone feel welcome. It’s more than that though- even outside of matchdays we care for our fans and do all we can to connect our club with young fans who will hopefully becone fans for life.”
EFL CEO, David Baldwin said, “It is fantastic to see the continued dedication of EFL Clubs to provide an exceptional matchday experience for families when attending fixtures across the League.
“We know nothing beats the joy of watching a live fixture and the EFL and its Clubs look forward to welcoming the return of fans to stadia, when it is safe to do so. Up until the Covid pandemic outbreak it is clear from the evidence gathered throughout the Family Excellence Scheme, that young fans and families were experiencing a high standard of matchday experience across the League. It is testament to clubs’ hard work that the standard of experience offered to families continues to rise, and this will undoubtedly help to ensure a welcoming environment will be provided for all families, once we are able to return to stadia.”