ALDERSHOT Town’s new Foundation will seek to work with every local charity and community group in the area to reinforce the club’s position at the heart of the community and make a difference through the power of football.
The Foundation, a registered charity, will be officially launched at the EBB Stadium on Friday, July 28 as the Shots host AFC Wimbledon in a pre-season friendly.
Aiming to raise aspirations and inspire all members of the community, the Foundation will promote active and healthy lifestyles and allow as many people as possible to play football, regardless of age, ability or circumstances.
In its desire to be one of the most diverse and inclusive clubs in the country, Aldershot Town already has strong links with the town’s Nepalese and Garrison communities, as well as local schools, and has twice won the Inspire Award for Business in the Community.
The Foundation will augment those successes by working with Rushmoor residents who live in some of the most disadvantaged areas in the UK to improve standards in education, health and mental wellbeing.
A board of trustees has been appointed, led by Janice Samuels, human resources manager at Enterprise Rent-a-Car, with a Foundation manager currently being recruited to develop and co-ordinate a full engagement programme.
Applications are also being sought from charities, community groups, schools, youth organisations and businesses wishing to work with the Shots Foundation. They are invited to contact Janice Samuels at janice. samuels@shotsfoundation. org or Steve Gibbs on 01252 320211 to discuss their requirements.
“We will raise aspirations, provide opportunities and embrace the diversity of our community through the medium of sport,” said Janice Samuels. “Aldershot Town already has some very clear commitments to its corporate social responsibility obligations and the Foundation will represent the club in the community.”
Aldershot Town chairman Shahid Azeem added: “The club is already at the heart of its community and we know that the Foundation will only strengthen that position. We can make a real and vital difference to people’s lives with our work and help our communities to address the challenges they face every day.”
• Aldershot Town begin their build-up to the season this Friday (July 7) with a home friendly against Championship side Brentford (ko 7.30pm). On Tuesday (July 11), Aldershot travel to Southern League club AFC Totton, kick-off 7.30pm at the Testwood Stadium.
• Salisbury manager Steve Claridge, once an Aldershot player, came out of retirement at the age of 51 to play in a pre-season friendly on Saturday. Claridge, who played more than 1,000 senior games before retiring in 2012, started the 3-0 defeat against Portsmouth and made his appearance due to a player shortage at the Southern League club.