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GRASSROOTS GAINS

21 January 2022

Sone Aluko meets fans of the future

The Club and its Community Trust have joined up to launch a new Grassroot Gains initiative.

Ipswich Valley Rangers, who have 23 teams split between boys and girls sides, were the first club to benefit from the scheme, with Town midfielder Sone Aluko visiting one of their training sessions at Goals Soccer Centre earlier this week.

Grassroot Gains seeks to grow the Club's links within the community further by working with a different local grassroots club ahead of each home game at Portman Road.

The scheme sees Town link up with different local clubs to give away a number of free tickets and inspire the next generation of young Blues supporters. The Club will also engage with the Club prior to attending a match at Portman Road.

On Tuesday night, Sone gave up his time to meet a number of Ipswich Valley Rangers youngsters at their training session, posing for pictures, signing autographs and answering questions before presenting the players with tickets for Saturday's home game against Accrington Stanley.

The 32-year-old spoke about the importance of giving back to the community and, with his sister Eni being a former England international, why he particularly enjoys meeting young girls within the game. 

"Especially with the impact of Covid for the last two years, it’s good to give back and make people in the community happy," Sone told the Club website.

"We are the only Club in the Town so these are our future fans and the people we want to have a positive effect on.

"I always like meeting young teams and especially young female teams as I know the struggles young girls have when they are getting into sport and staying in sport.

"When they get to 14 or 15, you can potentially lose some stars of the future so it’s always good to encourage them. Football is for everybody and we show that with initiatives like this."

Paul Bailey, Ipswich Valley Rangers chairman, added: "This is fantastic and is certainly great for our younger age groups. It’ll possibly be their first experience of seeing Ipswich Town live.

"There was a certainly buzz before training. All of the kids kept on asking which Ipswich player was coming down.

"It’s created a good buzz from the players and the parents. It’s a great initiative for us and for Ipswich Town themselves."

If your grassroots club is interested in getting involved, then please email dan.palfrey@itfc.co.uk for more information.


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