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Exeter City Football Club continues to be recognised for its ‘exceptional experience’ in the EFL Family Excellence Scheme

Staff and volunteers from Exeter City Football Club gather at St James Park to celebrate winning a gold award for family excellence. Photo credit: Zandie Thornton.

The results show that the club has once again achieved gold, for the third year running, for family excellence from the EFL – one of only 12 clubs across all the English football leagues to achieve the accolade for the 2022/23 season.

It was positioned an incredible third out of all 72 clubs from across the English football leagues and second in League One.

The report states: ‘For several seasons now, the Grecians have offered one of the most friendly, engaging and innovative match day experiences for families across the League. Their well-established club ambassadors are one unique way in which they create such a welcoming vibe, while the timetable graphic is a unique way of helping people to plan their day. Information is abundant and the Junior Fan Zone and Fan Zone were superb destinations on the day.’

The Family Excellence scheme sees Clubs receive two visit assessments each season, in order to determine the quality of the family matchday experiences they provide. This season assessors visited during the Fleetwood Town game in October and the Lincoln City match in March.

The scheme recognises the continuous improvement and best practice that emerges across the League and rewards Clubs for their efforts in attracting and retaining young supporters.

Nick Hawker, chair of Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, said: “We are delighted to achieve this incredible accolade, which really is a comprehensive review of the way we relate to, and look after, all supporters. There are so many people who work very hard to ensure all visitors to our club have a positive experience, many of whom are volunteers. Thank you to them all for their continued dedication, which is why we continue to be awarded the family excellence status from the EFL.

“As a supporter-owned club, we aspire to be the very best we can, and it is clear that this ethos runs through the club, from the ambassadors who welcome supporters to the stadium, through to the activities which are provided for young people.”

Nick added: “We have a dedicated ‘Supporter Experience Committee’ who continue to work to ensure the best experience for all supporters, despite the constraints that our stadium – and sell out games – can sometimes bring.”

Of the 66 EFL Clubs which achieved Family Excellence status, 12 were recognised as ‘Gold Award’ winners for the exceptional family experience they provide for supporters on matchdays.

EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch, said: “Our Clubs deserve an enormous amount of praise for the outstanding work they have done in making sure the matchday experience is a welcoming one for all families, which has helped boost attendances across all our competitions.

“From improved engagement with supporters before and after games, to innovative approaches around the matchday itself, such as creating dedicated fanzones and improving catering options, Clubs are pulling out all the stops to enhance their offering and attract the next generation of young fans.

“I would like to congratulate all those Clubs who have achieved Family Excellence status and thank them for their efforts.”

The Gold Award winners for 2022/23 season are: Blackburn Rovers, Doncaster Rovers, Exeter City, Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Ipswich Town, Lincoln City, Middlesbrough, Plymouth Argyle, Queens Park Rangers, Rotherham United, Stoke City.