Firstly this is an opportunity for any Imp who hasn’t got a season ticket to WIN a pair of Season Memberships by entering a prize draw here - tickets are £5 and you will find T & C’s here when you buy
If you are already a season ticket holder and win the prize you can receive a refund on two season tickets.
The fundraising project is to support the new #ImpsMatchdayWelcome. It's a project bringing supporters and both Lincoln City FC and Lincoln City Women FC reaching out to communities across the county.
Fans are looking ahead to the prospect of attending games back at LNER Sincil Bank with no Government restrictions next season. We're excited at the prospect of not only seeing the team in the flesh, cheering them on! And being with our football family and friends again.
We know football has a special way of bringing people together and arguably the feeling of thousands of Imps erupting in goal scoring joy Sincil Bank is one of the best feelings in the world. That shared exhilaration is addictive. The bond that tangible emotion can bring is quite incredible when you think about it.
The Lady Imps Supporters Association was born out of the discovery of the feelings football can bring. Being part of a club.
To be honest it was the loss to York City in the FA Trophy 2017 which stirred inexplicable sadness and disappointment. It was a surprise as football had previously been irrelevant. It triggered a realisation that football, with its highs and lows can mean so much. It was the desire to share the highs which drove the formation of the group; recognising and celebrating the women already attending, were still a minority. It was also about acknowledging many more had a perception the game had little to offer; that the portrayal of football in the 70’s and 80’s was still the landscape of the game in the late 20-teens.
I had discovered it certainly wasn’t and I wanted to shout about it, to anyone; but especially women like me. I wanted to say to people, 'Come and see! Its amazing! It’s not what you might have thought it was like at all'.
We know our club is welcoming and offers a fantastic match day experience - the trouble is there’s still lots of people ‘out there’ who don’t realise that.
It’s a troublesome tightrope to walk. Looking at the national picture we have to acknowledge that people from different racial, cultural or religious backgrounds have been, and are, verbally abused (or worse) during incidents at football.
People from the LGBTQ+ community have also faced abuse and discrimination. Disabled people also face barriers to attending games either because of abuse or a lack of understanding about how to meet their needs (often fairly straightforward adjustments). The game is changing and inclusion is gaining traction across the game - because why shouldn’t someone with a visual impairment, a hijab, or a gay couple attend our games.
I hear the argument that we don’t need projects like this because anyone can come to the games anyway - why do ‘they’ need a special project. A few reasons, I’ll be brief;
Personal experience - previous negative experiences around football put people off trying again.
Lack of experience - if you are from a minority group, perhaps having been subject to discrimination in other settings, what would give you the confidence to think you can stroll into an unfamiliar environment, with thousands of other people who know what they’re doing, seem to know each other and probably all look fairly similar when you may be obviously ‘different’. That’s a big ask in most people’s book. And while you might argue that going to a gig or a festival is the same thing, big crowds etc. let’s be right, football IS different, it is tribal and there are unwritten ‘codes of conduct’. If you have no reference points because you’ve never been before that’s daunting. It might be as basic as how to buy a ticket and where to sit. Things which seem obvious to regular fans can seem complicated to the uninitiated.
The media and Social Media. As an ex-journo I have sympathy and respect for lots of great people who work in the industry, particularly local press and broadcasters who tend to know their patch and its people. We know the TV and radio will do features with excitable fans prior to a BIG game, all positive and bubbly. Understandably the negatives, greed, corruption, abuse and yes sometimes violence, are also reported. It's me view that the negatives are often skewed with generalisations and outdated stereotypes about fans. In my experience violence directly related to football is rare, but you might not think that if you follow media coverage. Coverage of a lot of positive amazing work done to celebrate the game is sparse to say the least. Social Media again often reflects the worst some so called ‘fans’ bring to the game, seeing abusive or unwelcoming language will put potential fans off. The landscape is changing .. and there are many social media accounts promoting football for everyone. #FansForDiversity being one.
History - let’s face it anyone over the age of 40 remembers the news stories - in fact any coverage of football in the 70’s and 80’s. The imagery is memorable. And it’s not an environment you’d want to take your kids to. And while it might not be like that anymore - memories and perceptions linger and get passed down the generations. I think about the Bangladeshi community living on the doorstep of Valley Parade, Children hurried inside by anxious parents on match day while the ‘fans’ stomped down their streets shouting racist abuse and throwing bricks. Those children are now parents. Why would you think its changed - unless you see it for yourself. But what would make you want to take the risk?
It’s not enough to internally or verbally abhor racism, and other discrimination. We have to actively show we stand against it, to give others confidence that it's not a tick box exercise. We have to show that we want anyone and everyone in Lincolnshire to support our team, and we do that by reaching out, saying welcome and bringing new Imps on board.
I don’t know of any club which would say it doesn’t need more fans. The pandemic has tested everyone; the boards and staff of football clubs, ours included. To flourish we need to ensure everyone who wants to can feel part of the Imps family; attending regularly or sometimes, supporting from afar geographically, virtually, buying every season's new kit or a programme every now and again. Everyone starts somewhere..
So we ask Imps and the people of Lincolnshire for your support. Support the project, buy a ticket, make a donation, tell us about people who would love to come and experience a day at the Bank! You can find out how to nominate or get in touch about the project below.
What Lady Imps Supporters Association has done before?
We've seen the how everyone has enjoyed Lincoln City FC's success, it's galvanised the city. Yes some miss out. We are part of the #FansFor Diversity project (a joint campaign run by the FSA and Kick It Out).
Here's a poster we created in 2018 to encourage people to come and find out more about out=r club.
We have previously hosted people from the Eastern European community, linking with the Lincolnshire Polish Society. We've also hosted families from the Afghan Hazara community in Lincoln. Our fan exchange project also built friendships with the Bangla Bantams fan group at Bradford City AFC – furthering historic ties with the West Yorkshire club. It’s brought new people together, new people to the club and is part of enhancing the clubs values around inclusion.
Supporters at Lincoln City FC have come together to encourage those from different communities or groups to come and experience a match at LNER Stadium – especially if they’ve never been to a game before.
The Lady Imps Supporters Association (L.I.S.A) is working with Lincoln City Foundation and other supporters to raise money to purchase a group of season memberships to enable members of the community to attend a league fixture during the 2021/22 campaign.
A star prize of a pair of Season Membership tickets are available for the winners of the fundraising raffle, among other great prizes including;
More prizes will be announced in due course.
With all raised funds being used to purchase Imps Season Memberships, the Lincoln City FC board have kindly offered to match the final total allowing seats at LNER Stadium to be allocated to disadvantaged and underrepresented groups in our local community.
If the lucky winner has already renewed their Season Membership for the 2021/22 campaign, the Club will issue you with a full refund. The draw will take place week commencing 2nd August. Details tbc. Your digital raffle ticket will be entered into the prize draw. You will receive a confirmation email of your purchase, check your spam/junk folder. You will receive a further email confirming your raffle ticket numbers.
To nominate a group to receive these tickets for a league fixture during the upcoming season please email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your fantastic support, and good luck Imps! #ImpsAsOne