Supporters Club Report 2019-20
Kingstonian Supporters Club have produced a report of their activities in the last few months.
This short report outlines some of the activities undertaken by the Supporters Club and highlights some opportunities for further development once we are able to restart football. It also references work undertaken by Club officers on Community Liaison and Equalities issues and illustrates how supplementary actions from the Supporters Club have enhanced this work. In quite a few areas of work there has been collaboration with the Club Directors and Management team. We have very much appreciated this support and assistance and hope to build on this moving forward.
1.1 Player sponsorships
Twenty players and three members of the management team have had kit sponsorships and will raise around £2,435 over a twelve month period to 31 May (several sponsors pay by standing orders).
1.2 Other fundraising
Regular fundraising including Golden Goals and 50/50 enables us to sponsor several matches a year and also the match balls for all league games. This was complemented by a Race Night that was successfully organised with a substantial amount of assistance from K's director Yioryos Vasilaras.
The Supporters Club also undertake fundraising for our three charity partners Kingston Carers Network, Mind in Kingston and Sparkle and have raised over £500 for each. This will be complemented by an annual sponsored walk:
1.3. Donations to Kingstonian FC
All of the above helps enable us to make donations to Kingstonian FC which are used at the discretion of the Club directors. This season this is comprising:
£2,435 donations from anticipated players sponsorships (to 31 May 2020)
£1,000 match ball sponsorship
£1,250 match sponsorships
£1,200 other donations
£ 250 payment to FC for MIND advert in programme
2. Marketing and Support
2.1 Coach travel
Mini bus travel has been provided to all Saturday League games and latterly for evening matches. Larger luxury coaches were booked from Anderson Travel to provide travel to Dartford, Macclesfield and Leamington as it seemed important to do this as part of “the vibe” around the excellent cup runs.
2.2 Club Shop
The Club shop has recently been given a higher profile on match days through the purchase of a Gazebo style facility and the online shop provides additional opportunities for sales of Ks merchandising.
A4 posters have been regularly displayed in around twenty locations and another 30 have taken one off publicity - eg for the Fylde FA cup match and a fixture list at the start of the season.
Over 7000 Kingstonian beermats have now been distributed to 51 locations across the borough. There will be a second reprint to coincide with pre season.
The Supporters Club have provided attractive Kingstonian flags for use on KGF flag poles, the perimeter fence and on hand held flag poles. We also produced one hundred each of medium and small size and hand held flags which were used at cup matches. This was in response to requests from Hayden to help make KGF red and white on match days and to celebrate our cup runs.
2.6 Kingstonian Ted and friends!
Kingstonian Ted has been the Club’s mascot for a year now and has attracted some positive publicity for the Club; projecting an image of Kingstonian as a family friendly club. There are now two smaller Mascot bears - one of which is about to head out to Malawi.
Ted was a huge hit with the BBC and was featured prominently on Football Focus and was also included in a film montage used on the One Show prior to FA cup draws.
Some 230 little Kingstonian teddies have been given as gifts to young carers, younger youth team members and to children in Malawi. We have seen quite a bit of positive publicity for Kingstonian and far more than if a similar amount of money had been spent on conventional marketing. It is noticeable that we have seen more people with children at matches this season, so continuing to market Ks as a family friendly club seems crucial for the future.
3. Kingstonian Mind United
3.1 “Grow the Game” project
The teams are registered with the Surrey FA as Kingstonian teams and the players as Kingstonian players. They play seven a side format in the Surrey Community League on Fridays and Sunday Surrey FA's "Football for All". There are also friendly matches with other amateur teams throughout the season and participation in one-off tournaments.
The Community Liaison Officer role is new for the Club to assist the chairman in managing the Football Foundation Grow the Game grant (£6000 over 3 years). It is in a sense a shared role as the post holder has the same role for the Supporters Club. In year 1 Kingstonian FC have drawn down £2400 which has helped fund the purchase of Kingstonian strip for two teams, as well as some kit, training and a contribution to pitch hire for weekly Monday sessions at Kingsmeadow Athletics Centre.
Year two of the project will see further developments including continuing player recruitment and establishing a Kingstonian Mind United women’s team.
Surrey FA are now advising Club’s with disability teams to adopt a specific Safeguarding Adults Safeguarding Policy and appoint an Adult Disabilities Safeguarding Officer. Discussions are taking place with Mind in Kingston and Surrey FA about how to adapt this to the circumstances of our partnership with the charity. Hopefully an update will be available by the Board meeting on 24 March.
3.2 Supplementary backing from Supporters Club
A mental health awareness day was held on 7 December vs Merstham with a dozen Kingstonian Mind United players and the Chair of Mind in Kingston attending as guests along with the Mayor of Kingston. Our guests were given a Kingstonian/Mind mug as a keepsake. Away shirts and Ks sweatshirts have also been provided to the players. £544 was raised for the football project.
3.3. Soft Marketing
Mind in Kingston have tweeted promoting the Ks Mental Health Day and also our upcoming “Walk through History”.
4. Kingstonian and Young Carers
4.1 Young Carers Days and Mascots
We have now held seven young carers days at home matches with young carers and their families as guests and young carers as match day mascots for the game. The Mascots receive a Kingstonian shirt to keep and all young carers attending are given Banquet Records vouchers (thanks to Banquet Records for their kind assistance).
4.2 Football Fundays at Dinton Field
The Young Carers Days are now complemented by successful football fun days organised by Kingstonian Youth held at Dinton Field in school holidays
4.3 Kingstonian Youth Soccer School places for young carers
Kingstonian Youth are to commence running soccer schools during school holiday periods and will be offering half price places for carers. The Supporters Club are using funds raised through collections and the sponsored walk to purchase some of the half price places for Kingston young carers. This is a classic “win, win” as it will help make sure that the soccer school gets off to a good start and provides valuable support for young carers and their families.
4.4 Innovation at Ks - spin offs
The Young carers initiative at Ks has led to Aldershot Town and Woking FC holding similar match day events for young carers that have become annual events. The initiative has also led to a wider Surrey Carers in Sport initiative with support from Surrey FA.
5. Sparkle Malawi
5.1 Friendship through football
We undertook fundraising via a “Sparkle Day” (that raised £564.77)
This is being complemented via an annual sponsored walk. As described above 100 little Kingstonian teddies have also been sent to Malawi.
5.2 Soft Marketing
Sparkle Malawi have their logo on the back of our first team shirts and this together with these donations has led to publicity for the Club on social media, the Sparkle newsletter and BBC London TV. The “Go Kingstonian“ video message that came from children in Malawi waiving their Kingstonian Teddies really was pure magic.
6. Equality and Diversity
6.1 Football Vs Homophobia
The Supporters Club have supported the Football Club in backing this Surrey FA Football Vs Homophobia initiative through sponsoring the Wingate and Finchley match and have had special rainbow Ks flags made for the occasion.
6.2 Equally and Diversity Officer and team
The Football Cub has now established a new role of Equality and Diversity Officer and an Equalities and Diversity team has been recruited. It is proposed that this small team be constituted as a sub committee of the Supporters Club but with the overall strategy subject to approval by the Club’s Directors or Board. Future activities might for example, include support for anti racist campaigns such as the “Kick it Out” and “Red Card Campaigns”
6.3 New women’s officer role
Margaret McCormack has agreed to take on a new role of Women’s Liaison Officer. This seems very timely in the light of the current Surrey FA initiative promoting female-friendly clubs and should also help support efforts to develop a Kingstonian Mind United women’s team.
7. Some Next Steps
Once football restarts; whether in a few weeks or months, there are several opportunities for future developments through the work streams described above. This should include:
- Strengthening links with Kingstonian Youth
- Continuing support for Kingstonian Mind United including a new women’s team
- Supporting new developments around equally & diversity and “female friendly clubs”
- Promoting the”Boost the budget” sponsorship at the same time as our membership renewals for next season