UPDATE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
The end of 2020 is nearly upon us and what a year it’s been! I started the year making plans about which away days I could do, and I’m finishing the year wondering about which UK tier system I could be placed in as each day passes! It’s been a year like no other for sure!
Membership: Our current membership continues to increase and now stands at approximately 228. Around this time last year, it was peaking at around 180, so despite the unprecedented year we’ve faced, the fact that active membership numbers have risen is very pleasing. It certainly gives us hope that, once we can resume normal life again, being more active and visible, those numbers will continue to increase.
One real success this year has been our work on increasing our membership benefits. I’m very pleased to report that we have now teamed up with numerous local outlets in Aldershot and Farnham, who are offering discounts to our members (on the production of your membership card!). We thank them for working with us and look forward to visiting them more once lockdown restrictions ease up and it’s easier to do so.
Cash for Shots continues to be an active fundraiser for us, with numbers continuing to grow. Whilst the pandemic hasn’t been helpful, the Trust will continue o focus on boosting the scheme. Our target is to increase the numbers participating even further in 2021. It would be lovely to see numbers increase by at least 10% by this time next year, so! If you know anybody in your circle of family or friends that would like the chance to win £100 each week for the cost of a £1, then please get in touch!
Lucky 7s is progressing nicely! We currently have 110 players, which is great. Considerable thanks must go to Dave Donovan, who runs the scheme on our behalf, and does a smashing job! It’s not only fun, but it’s also a competitive fundraiser! Dave compiles a league table, cup rounds and a full set of domestic league fixtures to get stuck into. The pot starts at £50 and increases by £10 each week if nobody is fortunate enough to predict 7 correct results from the set of fixtures provided. I thought I knew my football and would be alright at this, but I’m currently being put to shame right now by at least 4 family members, one of which is my 84 year old Nan who currently sits 3rd in the table of 110 competitors!! I won’t reveal where I am in the league table, but I’m quite a way back, so if you think you can beat Nan, sign up now!
Further details of how to join Cash for Shots and play Lucky 7s are available on our website…. http://www.shotstrust.co.uk
Trust and Club Relationship: This area remains a challenge, but we continue to try and improve it. Despite our differences, ultimately we all want what is best for Aldershot Town Football Club, and that is the most important thing here… the Football Club! Therefore in the New Year, I will once again make contact with the Football Club in the hope of getting together and having a series of constructive meetings. We are very keen to identify how the Trust can assist or help out in any way with future plans. Whilst it’s clear that the Football Club would prefer to work with the newly established Supporters Club, I firmly believe that the Trust still has a big part to play in helping to shape the future of ATFC. We are more established, have a larger membership base, and have experience and expertise in many fields that could really help the Club. I’d like to make it clear that we are not going away anytime soon; we will continue to knock on ATFC’s door and try to have constructive dialogue. The sole aim has got to be helping ATFC thrive.
Sunday League Football Team: The launching of the Sunday League Team has been a massive success for the Trust. It has ensured we have a regular presence within the local community, but has also brought with it a really encouraging feel-good factor! We’ve managed to get a committed group together from a broad range of areas such as Aldershot, Farnham, Farnborough Bordon and Alton. Everybody involved has really bought in to the Trust community ethos, and we have worked very well with Rushmoor Saints and sponsors alike, for whose support we are extremely grateful.
On the pitch, despite the frustrations of a stop / start campaign due to lockdown restrictions, we find ourselves sitting in 4th place, with a mere 6 points off the top 2 – with games in hand on both! With over half the season remaining, there is still plenty to play for and, rest assured, the boys will be ready and raring to go with the aim of finishing in those promotion places.
On a personal level, it has been great to be involved in the game once again and, despite the contrast in level to what I’ve been involved in previously with ATFC, I’m loving every minute of it. I continue to get that buzz from the game; I enjoy seeing others work and play well together; especially when we are creating something special in the community.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe, happy New Year!
If anybody would like to contact me during the Christmas and New Year period to ask any questions about the above update, or even just for a chat during these difficult times, then please feel free to email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will seek to respond ASAP and make further contact.
All the best!
Shots Trust Chairman