Rotherham United have again been honoured with the EFL Family Excellence award for the 2016/17 season.
The Millers have picked up the prestigious accolade for the second consecutive year, with the Family Excellence award recognising the outstanding experience provided by clubs for young fans and families, as well as their efforts to enhance the match day experience.
Now in their 10th anniversary year, an unprecedented number of clubs have attained the Family Excellence Award for 2017, with a significant increase in the benchmark standard being applied by the judging panel. Four clubs - Cambridge United, Mansfield Town, Newport County and Aston Villa - have also received the accolade for the first time this season.
On the announcement of the award, Rotherham United’s chief operating officer Paul Douglas said:
“There is a very rigorous process that all clubs have to go through to achieve the Family Excellence,” he told www.themillers.co.uk
“We are delighted that all the hard work behind the scenes has now paid off with award of this prestigious accolade.
“Whilst we are thrilled to have been honoured, we won’t rest on our laurels as we continue to strive to further improve our match day experience at the AESSEAL New York Stadium for all supporters, especially those who come along as a family.”
More than ever this year, EFL clubs are providing families with engaging and innovative matchday entertainment, as they continue to find new and unique ways to attract fans and their families to matches. Such experiences include high levels of ticket booking assistance for families, extensive pre-match advice, exciting entertainment both inside and outside stadiums, access to players, mascots and dedicated family zones and activities.
Over the past 10 years, more and more young people have made their way through the turnstiles in the EFL, with junior season ticket sales having increased by a staggering 37% since 2007, and 20% of all EFL club match attendees now under the age of 16.
Such evidence is a strong indication of a healthy future for football in this country according to Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive.
He said: “The EFL Family Excellence Awards have proven to be a fantastic vehicle for celebrating and highlighting the excellent progress that clubs are making in providing families with improved match day experiences.
“Now in their 10th year, the Awards have made a significant impact and this year’s winners have once again shown how innovative thinking and a strong commitment can enhance the experience for both home and away.
“I wish to congratulate each and every club who has been recognised for playing their part in continuing to attract a growing number of younger fans to the game in what is undoubtedly a valuable indication of a bright and healthy future for the EFL.”
Over the past decade eight clubs have secured the award in every year they have been eligible to receive it; Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Cardiff City, Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Milton Keynes Dons and Reading.
The Award recipients are decided using independent assessments from real families, who make matchday visits across all 72 League clubs, during the 2016/17 season.