Getting shirty

As promised by the Blog yesterday, a fantastic new fundraising scheme looks set to greatly benefit our endangered youth set-up. Below is Paul Driver’s statement on the OS, explaining the idea…

Paul Driver provides us with an update on where the Youth Section currently is with plans for Fund Raising next season.

“Firstly, a big thank you to all of the supporters who took the time to contact me about fund raising following the pieces on the website and in the local press at the end of May.

I have looked at all of the various ideas and had meetings with Keith Cousins and the Supporters Trust about these and how best to move forward and we have decided upon two main initiatives for next season – one which we see as being for the fans to offer support and the other where all of our Centre of Excellence players could come together at one event to raise funds for the scheme.

What we didn’t want to do was to put supporters into a position where they were being asked to dig into their pockets for this and that on a regular basis and, while we feel our plight is an important one to support, we also felt that taking over bucket collections on match days would take away an important source of revenue for all of the worthwhile charities that already use this method as a means of raising important funds.

The “one for the fans”, which we understand was met with approval on the Fans Internet Forum, takes up on an idea given to me by one of our supporters, Alex Raspin, who told us about Darlington’s away shirt which has on it the names of hundreds of their supporters who have pledged a certain amount of money (in the region of £15-20) to have their name printed on the shirt. The shirt is then sold in the club shop for a reasonable price with the Youth Section then benefiting from the £15-20 “sponsorship” plus an amount from the sale of the shirt at the shop. I am now talking with Macron about taking this forward and will keep you all posted on developments.

The main Centre of Excellence initiative came from another supporter, Robin Hales, and is for a Fun Day which we will hold at Nene Park on a Sunday Afternoon in September with various side shows like Beat the Keeper, Bouncy Castle, Stadium Tours etc and which also offers a chance to meet some of the players. Once the fixture list is out, we will decide on the best option of a date and this will be publicised on the website.

So, thanks again for your input – I’m sorry if we haven’t adopted your idea but hope that you can appreciate where we are coming from when choosing the ones detailed above.

Paul Driver

Head of Youth Development”

Shown above is something of a preview to the RDFC idea. Looking closely, it is possible to see that the small black lines that make up the shirt are, in fact, the names of hundreds of Darlo fans who pledged money to feature on the club’s commemorative shirt. It is a fantastic idea. In total 900 fans featured on the above shirt.

A big thanks much go to Paul Driver, whose dedicated work is going a long way to ensuring the Youth set-up’s future, and to Alex Raspin, who brought the idea to Driver’s attention.

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