The power of sport knows no bounds. EFL clubs and their respective club community organisations (CCOs) have always been, and remain, at the heart of their communities, and their importance to the daily lives of so many people cannot - and should not - be underestimated. Behind the network of CCOs and the hundreds of thousands of people taking part in community activity in the UK is the EFL Trust; the charitable arm of the EFL, an organisation striving to make a difference and working tirelessly to create stronger, healthier and more active communities…
As 2020 comes to an end, the EFL have looked in depth at the EFL Trust, of which Brentford FC Community Sports Trust is a member. the past year has been defined by the Covid-19 outbreak thast has forced organisations, including our Trust, to move their work online. The feature by the EFL includes an interview with John Nixon, EFL Trust Chair.
“The easy thing would have been to close the doors and stand still, waiting for things to pass,” John Nixon says, when asked about football’s response to the pandemic. But clubs and CCOs didn’t do that, they stepped up and showed some fantastic leadership and have continued to do so throughout.”
“It was like the whole country had stopped breathing,” Nixon adds. “Schools had stopped, offices and shops had shut and, of course, football stopped. There were no games, training stopped and people were being told to stay at home. No-one really knew what to do; it was very surreal.
“It was a difficult time. Almost all of the Trust’s programmes involve participation and contact with other people, so they had to stop initially. No-one had ever delivered a virtual programme before, but the only way forward was to introduce virtual programmes in as many areas as we could. We didn’t want to lose the engagement we had with people; we felt that was really important.”