The Supporters’ Trust At Reading (STAR) and Reading Football Club came together at the Tower of London last night to proudly accept the Football Supporters' Association 'Supporter Engagement Award’.
The award is designed to 'recognise those clubs and fan groups whose relationship and partnership has led to the best outcomes for supporters at their respective clubs.’
This is the very first time that this particular piece of silverware has been awarded, so STAR and the club are setting the bar for others to follow.
STAR’s relationship with the club has been a story of long established and steady progress, working with the club, not against it.
And it was apt that Jackie Evans, Head of Operations and HR, and Rob Coleman, Customer Services Manager, stood together with STAR Board Member Roger Titford to receive the award last night.
The award was recognition of a wide variety of methods which both the club and the Trust have used to try to bring the supporters closer to their club at Reading.
One of the recent initiatives cited on the night was STAR’s energetic response to the owner's generous offer of free travel to 15 away games this season and the great work put in by STAR’s travel and membership teams to execute this.
Another mention was given to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, set up earlier this year to include a Structured Dialogue relationship between the club and its fans – offering an even higher level of consultation to our supporters in understanding and shaping the club’s strategic plans for the future.
Club sign Memorandum of Understanding to commit to further fan communication6 September 2019
Over the past twelve months, STAR have also played a dominant role in the installation of our Academy Honours Board, sponsored the highly successful Reading FC Deaf team, organised an official Hall of Fame and lent a hand in organising the annual Player of the Season vote for fans.
They help us orchestrate our Remembrance Day service every year and another supporters trip to the war graves of Flanders to pay tribute to those who fought for both club and country is in the pipe line for next summer – plus this season STAR rolled out online travel booking and revamped their website and social media offering to our fan base.
“We’re proud of this record, the benefits we offer our 1,500+ members and the national recognition we’ve just received for our engagement with the football club,” said STAR Chair, Paula Martin.
“Back in 2002, the supporters’ club earned Supporters’ Trust status; and its mission was to embrace Reading supporters of all types and make their lives as supporters better and more fun. That aim remains true to our Trust today.”
Head of Operations and HR, Jackie Evans, said “We at Reading Football Club are delighted that the FSA have recognised the huge amount of work that both the club and its Trust undertake to actively engage with our supporters on all topics, in a wide variety of ways and at every single turn in the club’s journey.
“We would like to congratulate Doncaster Rovers, Grimsby Town, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers on their deserved nominations for the award – they too are making great strides within supporter engagement. Our thanks go to the Football Supporters Association for recognising the importance of supporter engagement and congratulations to STAR - we look forward to working together to further strengthen the bond between our fans and the football club in the future.”