Blackburn Rovers Community Trust are hoping that a small donation of just £1 from every supporter attending next Saturday’s Lancashire derby can help to fund a fantastic start for their new mixed disability football teams.
Rovers’ lunchtime tussle with near neighbours Preston North End has been designated as this season’s awareness fixture for the club’s official charity, so the organisation is aiming to take the opportunity to highlight the extend of their tireless work in aid of the local community, with a particular emphasis on their fast-growing disability provision this year.
A mixed disability junior side recently represented the club against Bootle Bucks Inclusion FC in our first-ever official fixture of this nature, but in order to keep providing the opportunity to as many keen supporters with a disability as possible, the ‘bring a pound to the ground’ rallying cry is being issued to the club’s fans to help turn the dream into a reality, with a regular fixture programme catering for a number of teams with particular needs.
The Rovers first team squad have already been quick to lend their support to the campaign, with some popular faces set to feature in a series of regular reminders throughout the course of the week ahead. England international Jack Rodwell and the club’s disability sport ambassador Jayson Leutwiler helped to launch the campaign this week at Rovers’ Senior Training Centre.
Volunteer bucket collectors will be stationed around the perimeter of the stadium before the game – including one at every turnstile block – in the hope of receiving your donations, which would raise a game-changing five figure sum if everyone attending the game is able to donate just £1. The donation is entirely optional and there is no obligation to do so, but any donation, however big or small, will help a number of fellow Rovers fans to fulfil their dream of representing their club in an officially sanctioned team.
Gary Robinson, chief executive officer of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, hopes that the concept will be as successful at Ewood Park as it has been at a number of other neighbouring clubs. He explained:
“The ‘bring a pound to the ground’ concept has proven to be very successful at a number of clubs and has helped many club charities to fulfil some excellent initiatives thanks to the support of their fans.
“Our focus on our disability programme at this year’s Community Trust awareness fixture will help us to make rapid progress with a project that has really grown over the past year. We’ve had some fantastic support from organisations such as the Wembley National Stadium Trust to help us get a variety of disability football programmes running on a regular basis, but our hope now is to create an end goal for each participant to dream of playing for their favourite club, which will require additional funding towards travel, facilities and kits.
“With a crowd of around 20,000 people expected to come and enjoy this huge derby, we hope that our fans will be able to support our appeal and help to ensure that those attending our weekly disability football coaching sessions can go on to experience the thrill of pulling on the famous blue and white shirt, representing our club with pride.”
Any supporters that are unable to attend next Saturday’s fixture to donate on the day can call the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre reception on 01254 508256 to make a donation via credit or debit card, or simply make a personal visit to the building between 9am and 9pm every weekday where the reception team can collect cash or card donations.