More To Come After Successful DebutLast Saturday saw Shrewsbury Town in the Community open up their brand new Match Day Fan Zone in the Community Hub, exclusively for Junior Members.
The Fan Zone, which is scheduled to run before every Saturday home game, aims to give an extra element to the matchday experience for youngsters, making sure there’s more to the day than just the 3pm kick-off.
The community felt that they could do more for their young members on match days and wanted to be as interactive with them as possible.
This season is being treated as an experiment for the match day fan zone but Junior Membership Coordinator Bryn McGilligan-Oliver says they were keen to make sure it was fun and enjoyable for the youngsters coming along.
“We decided to do this because we wanted to offer events to our members and make them feel exclusive and like VIP’S,” said Bryn. “Hopefully that should entice people to sign up because we want our junior fan base to grow and see what boundaries we can push with getting plenty of members involved.
“We want to set a good bench mark this season and build on it next season.
“Throughout the afternoon there were several competitions going on. We had a FIFA tournament on the main screen and we also had guess the goal time and guess the score.
“There were prizes, such as smoothie vouchers and tickets for the Cinderella production thanks to our very kind sponsors at O’Joy Wellness and Theatre Severn handed out by our very kind sponsors O’Joy Wellness.
“The children loved that there was plenty of prizes.”
There was a good turnout for the event and the community team are hopeful that this can grow in the future and urged youngsters to get involved on match days.
“We had 50 people here including members and parents who came on the day,” remarked Bryn.
“It was pretty busy in here and the FIFA competition went down really well. The bar was open and parents really enjoyed relaxing and having a drink.
“We signed 15 more members up on the day which has taken our numbers up to 175 now which is great. Last year there was 198 but that was for the whole season.
“The Hub opens at 12pm and runs up to 2.30.
“We did a survey on the day just for general feedback and all parents were really happy. Our staff worked really hard to make the day a success.”
The zone is still not the finished article and there are plans to include more activities for youngsters as the scheme grows. One of these is getting some first team players to come across to the hub and get involved with the youngsters and Bryn is confident that this can happen sooner rather than later.
“The response was good and the children loved that there were prizes but in the future we want to do even more,” Bryn added. “We’re hopeful that we will be getting visits from players in the near future which we know the young shrews fans will love.
“In the future we will be looking to get more activities out such as table tennis, football challenges and head tennis etc. If the weather is nice then we can progress that even further.
“We would like to get some music going and we are delighted to announce that we will have local singer Heidi Browne coming here on the 17th September to play us some of her music so that will be good fun.”
It is quick and easy for people who are interested to sign up for the membership, but Bryn urged people to get in contact if they have any queries:
“If someone wants to become a member then they can turn up on the day and sign up with us,” explains Bryn.
“We have three age categories:
Tiny Shrews – Ages 0-4-years-old - free sign up,
Junior Shrews – Ages 5 – 11-years-old - £10 per season
One Town Members – Ages 12 – 16-years-old - £10 per season.
“If they are a previous member from last year and they haven’t yet been in contact they can renew for free.
“The best thing about fan zone is we will be in contact with all of our members regularly via email and phone calls to ensure members don’t miss out on any upcoming activities.
“To sign up for junior membership you can look online and there are details about what each pack contains. They can ring up the community too on 01743 289177 and email us at email@example.com and they can speak to myself or Harry Warren.”