Stepney FC help launch the Leyton Orient Fans For Diversity Hub
Players and parents from Stepney FC, a community based club in Tower Hamlets, helped launched the Leyton Orient Fans For Diversity Hub on Saturday 27 August with a day to remember at the Matchroom Stadium.
The Hub has been supported by the Fans For Diversity fund, and will offer football enthusiasts from the local community the opportunity to learn more about the east London club as well as Kick It Out’s key messages of equality and inclusion.
Opened before the O’s League Two clash against Mansfield Town, the group of 50 people from Stepney, including Under-12 players and family members, were involved in a number of pre-match activities to celebrate the launch.
The day began for the group by exploring their new surroundings in the East Stand before Howard Gould, Community Liaison Officer at Leyton Orient, welcomed the group as he explained how the club interacts with the local community.
This was followed by Anwar Uddin, Diversity and Campaigns Manager at the Football Supporters’ Federation, discussing how Fans For Diversity supported the creation of the hub.
The group from Stepney were then tested on their knowledge of Orient, Fans For Diversity and Kick It Out, with prizes given away for correct answers including Orient soft balls, scarf and a replica shirt.
The young people were then given the opportunity to be flag-bearers for the day, walking around the ground before welcoming players onto the pitch ahead of kick-off. The day had one more surprise for the Under-12s as they participated in a half-time penalty shoot-out contest, testing their skills against Theo, the O’s mascot, playing the role of goalkeeper.
Despite a disappointing defeat for the home side, it proved to be a successful day off the pitch with four of the group from Stepney FC having bought season tickets following their trip to Orient.
Anwar Uddin, lead on the Fans For Diversity campaign, was delighted with the reaction to the hub:
“It was a great day at Leyton Orient launching the new hub in the East Stand. The club were fantastic in providing a welcoming environment for the group from Stepney FC, with many attending their first ever football game.
“The hub seemed to be the perfect introduction for newcomers to the club, finding out more about their local team as well as more information about the work of Kick It Out and Fans For Diversity.
“So many of the group involved seemed to really enjoy the experience of meeting the players and receiving Orient and Kick It Out prizes.
“The fact that four season tickets have been bought since the launch of the hub is an amazing achievement. It also shows the power of the club interacting with the local community in a unique and exciting way, to engage new people to become supporters.”