Bradford youngsters watch Bantams through Fans for Diversity initiative
Children from the Asian community in Bradford have been given the opportunity to attend two of Bradford City’s home games in November as part of an initiative run by the club and the ‘Fans for Diversity’ campaign.
The Bantams will have welcomed 60 children over two home games at the Coral Windows Stadium as part of the initiative, which is aiming to encourage the local Asian community to attend fixtures.
‘Fans for Diversity’, jointly run by Kick It Out and the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), provided 30 tickets to the match against Gillingham last Saturday (22 November) as well as another 30 for their next home clash with Leyton Orient on Saturday (29 November).
Before the first match of the initiative, BEAP provided a series of activities for the children at the Shapla Football Academy, including football lessons for the youngsters before heading to watch the League One fixture.
At the game ‘Fans for Diversity’ provided gift packs for the youngsters which included souvenirs and a club scarf to enhance their matchday experience. The match ended in a 1-1 draw with Gillingham grabbing a late equaliser to deny the home side the victory in front of their new supporters.
The result did not dampen the spirits of the youngsters who enjoyed their experience of watching professional football with the young fans hoping to be part of the new generation of supporters at Bradford City which be more reflective of the community within the terraces.
Speaking after the match, Anwar Uddin, FSF’s Diversity and Campaigns Manager and ‘Fans for Diversity’ lead, said: “I have been very fortunate to have played at Bradford City a number of times throughout my career. After every visit I have been impressed by the atmosphere and the aura the club has in and around the ground.”
“This is the message I want to share with the local community who see the club from their bedroom windows. Together with club staff and existing fans we can highlight the good work we are all doing trying to make football as safe and inclusive as possible so we can attract new fans from the local community to be involved in the highs and lows of being a Bradford City fan.”
James Mason, Bradford City Chief Operating Officer, said: “I am delighted to have come into a club that is already doing great things to involve itself in the local community. Hopefully, these youngsters will have enjoyed the game and we will see them back at the Coral Windows Stadium in the future.
“Our links with the local Manningham community are important to us and we are delighted to be working alongside BEAP and supporting the fantastic support they offer to youngsters in this area.”
Humayun Islam, organiser of the football programme at BEAP, said: “I am more than happy at how the day went. I want to thank Anwar, the ‘Fans for Diversity’ initiative and Bradford City for their support and the warm welcome we received at the match. The kids loved the experience of going to see Bradford City play and it was a dream come true for them.”