Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Ashton United have been doing their bit to make sure their fans are fit and healthy.
Before last Tuesday night’s cup derby with Curzon Ashton in the Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup, the Robins teamed up with the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust to run free health checks at Hurst Cross for the fans of both sides.
The medical MOTs by qualified staff were available from 5pm in the run-up to the first round tie in Evo-Stik NPL club’s new medical room, funded with a grant from the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund.
Ashton United secretary Andy Finnigan said: “It is vitally important that people take care of their health. Here we had an opportunity to bring health care to our fans, players and officials, rather than them having to seek out preventative measures.”
The club’s community health initiative was organised before an undiagnosed heart condition was blamed for the sad death of Shaw Lane’s Danny Wilkinson in September while playing in the EVO-STIK NPL’s Integro Cup and Finnigan added: “The tragic death of a player whilst competing in one of our league cup fixtures brought home the need for such an event.”
The Robins have since renewed their drive to recruit more volunteers to support the club and enhance the matchday experience for all supporters.
According to vice-chairman Steve Hobson, officials led by their new volunteer coordinator Carol Finigan are looking to fill a number of posts from stewarding to administrators on their social media channels.
He said: “Our club is wholly reliant upon the fantastic team of volunteers we have behind the scenes. We work hard to create a family atmosphere throughout the club, including our volunteers.
“From this season we have appointed a volunteer co-ordinator, Carol Finnigan, whose job it will be to ensure that the volunteers that join us are getting the most out of their experience. That might be social, with a view to gaining work experience.
“Each person will have their own reason for joining us and we want to be able to lend as much support as we can through Ashton United in the Community. In recent times we have seen a number of volunteers come to us to gain work experience and they have moved on to paid roles, some inside football, other in different industries.”
He added: “Carol’s role is also to identify training needs in our volunteers and, where possible, support them to improve their skills through courses or new experiences.”