November 2, 2006
I am pleased to accept nomination to represent supporters on the board of our football club. Recent months have been difficult for many. Good and sincere people have given up their time and with the very best of intentions. I have the greatest of respect for anyone who gives their energy and time to the well being of our football club.
Now is the time for unity. To do the very things that we are constituted to do and the things that we do best; to support our football club and to represent our supporters. Supporting the team on match days is paramount. I have never booed a blue and white shirt in all my years. However, there is so much more to running a football club. I believe that many others, employed staff, match day officials, volunteer helpers and our own BRSC staff deserve our respect and our support.
Over the past year or two I have been especially pleased to work with the education and community departments. I was delighted that we were able to secure funding for a Playing for Success centre and I backed that up by helping to provide resources for our young people to prepare for school examinations and tests. I have run myself off my feet, literally, by turning out with other hardy Gasheads to compete in the Bristol Half Marathon. It was good to donate healthy sums to five schools last year. In supporting the schools we are also supporting our football club and enhancing our reputation in the community. Every penny raised this year will go to our Young Pirates.
Past months have been taken up with the planning and bidding for a programme we are calling Fit for Success. Sportsmatch funding was finally secured in September to match the money already on the table. The project is now under way. Community and Education will be working with ten local primary schools over the next two years. Over five hundred children will be involved with the objective of helping them to become good and fit young people and a strength in our community, and of course to become life long supporters of Bristol Rovers Football Club.
The swelling of our ranks is vital to our future. I believe that if Bristol Rovers gets into the community then the community will get into Bristol Rovers. I pledge all of my experience and hard work in that cause. I have been listening to many fans lately. We want a winning team, a stadium fit for purpose and a financially viable club that is clearly moving forward and moving up. I put myself up to represent all fans. The families with small children who stand and brave the weather at home games, the senior supporters who in their golden years make the long treks to all away games. It is time to listen, to consider and to represent the needs of everyone. I pledge to do my very best.