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8 September 2014

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Director David Blakeman explains the latest work the Town have done in the community

The following is an excerpt from director David Blakeman's programme notes, which appeared in issue five of Talk of the Town on Saturday at the Plymouth game:

This is my first set of programme notes this season. Since my last set of notes we have, of course, had the holiday season. We have not been idle, however, during that period of time and have undertaken a wide variety of community activities. Perhaps the most exciting was our World Cup Week of Learning, undertaken with local charity, Unleashing Potential. That event involved over 700 local schoolchildren attending Kenilworth Road, over a period of three days. The children were treated to various educational assemblies – some fronted by an educational rapper-who the kids loved and who was, in my opinion, extremely impressive. He made the kids laugh, but delivered some very important messages about hard work and achievement as well.

Each day included a ground tour for the children and a special opportunity to lift the World Cup (a replica – but a very realistic one!) in front of the other children. To anyone who has not witnessed the spectacle of 200 schoolchildren yelling simultaneously, all I can say is that, apart from the need for a new set of eardrums following such an event, one must also think about the prospect of those kids cheering on the Hatters!

This was, I like to think, one of those really pleasing occasions where we were helping children (and their teachers) enhance educational potential, whilst at the same time having the opportunity to convert youngsters into Luton Town fans. It is unrealistic to assume that all 700 will become Luton fans, but I am sure that a certain number enjoyed the day so much that they will be coming back – and that gives us the opportunity to turn them into lifelong fans.

We are also hosting, on 9th September, an event run by the Football Association called Asians in Football. This is really an exploratory event, in which questions are asked as to why it is that there are so few Asians in professional football – notwithstanding that the Asian community is massively interested in the sport. From a personal perspective, I take the view that if we could find an Asian player good enough to play in our first team, we could be adding very significant numbers to gates – as I feel that the presence of an Asian player may be the key we need to unlock the potential support in the local Asian community.

We do have various other events in the planning stage and in the pipeline. In my next set of notes I hope to be able to give more details.

I like to think that the football club is becoming more and more embedded in the community and capable of delivering more and more useful educational and social programmes. In doing so we always get the opportunity to give the club a plug in the hope that we can attract more supporters. If anyone has ideas for community events please do let me know.

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