Wolves Disability FC are heading into the new season with their first ever sponsor, as Energy Angels continue to develop their partnerships with the club.
The Disability team now boasts around 70 players across two teams in each of the adult, Under-16 and Under-12 sections, growing from just four who attended the very first session as Sporting Chances some nine years ago.
Over recent years Energy Angels, an ethical business which aims to ensure people have access to the most cost-effective energy supplies, has developed from taking an executive box at Molineux to pitchside advertising as a club partner, becoming shirt sponsor of Wolves Women and the matchday fanzone, to now adding Wolves Disability FC to their portfolio.
“For Wolves Disability FC to have their first ever sponsor is testament to the work of Gavin (Inclusion Lead Gavin Jones) and the other staff with the way the teams have grown over the last few years,” explains Luke Shearing, inclusion & cohesion manager with Wolves Foundation.
“And it is also thanks to Energy Angels, who have extended their support of different areas of the club for which we are extremely appreciative.
“Last season the teams had the same training kit as the men’s and women’s first teams and this sponsorship means that can continue with that, along with opening up several other opportunities.
“It all adds to the professional feel of the club and gives the players something to be proud of, to make them feel that they are part of the One Pack ethos at Wolves.
“Energy Angels will be working alongside us and getting involved with community events as well and we can’t thank them enough for their support.”
Jones has been involved with the team from those very first days, and has seen it grow, to now preparing for a new season in the Staffordshire Ability Counts League which will include playing at St George’s Park.
The adult team has also had the opportunity to play twice during half time of Wolves’ men’s team’s fixtures with Cardiff and Aston Villa, to loud acclaim from the Molineux fanbase.
“Those games are still talked about by the team and hopefully we will be able to do it again this season,” says Jones.
“It has been great for everyone to get going again in such a welcoming atmosphere – no one is ever cast aside – and there is a really strong social element to the teams.
“For both players, and parents of the younger players, the training sessions and matches have become a really important part of their week, and even when we weren’t able to meet during lockdown we held regular online sessions including workshops around subjects like fitness, nutrition and online safety.
“Everyone is buzzing that the season is about to start again and are ready to get back out there.”
That will be helped by the new sponsorship with Energy Angels, a company based in St John’s Square on the edge of the city centre, whose CEO Lewis Taylor is a lifelong Wolves fan who was brought up in Compton.
“Having always been a Wolves fan, I had a big ambition to one day get involved with the football club, and sadly that was never going to be as a player!” he explains.
“As the business has grown in recent years, we have been able to work together firstly to become a club partner and then on the really exciting developments with Wolves Women and the fanzone.
“When the possibility of sponsoring the Wolves Disability FC came up, straightaway we knew it was something which was a fit for Energy Angels.
“At Energy Angels we strongly believe that football should be available for everyone, and Wolves Foundation do some great work in this area including with the disability team.
“Attitudes are definitely changing which is a real positive but I think they maybe need to change much more quickly to achieve equity and justice, and what a way to do just that by supporting the Wolves Disability Team.
“If we can do anything to help Wolves Foundation with our sponsorship of the disability team, then we will be delighted to do so.”
As a business, Energy Angels operates by providing online comparisons on energy prices in much the same way as perhaps more familiar names such as Go Compare and the Money Supermarket.
While competing for market share in this area and in promising a very simple and effective digital journey to switch energy companies, there is also a strong community ethos within the business which includes working with social landlords and supporting vulnerable residents in helping them save money on their bills.
This community ethos extends to plans to now offer employees the opportunity to take five paid volunteering days during the year to support local charities and initiatives, with Wolves Foundation expected to be among those who will benefit.
“We want to create a strong bond with fans and we hope to have started that already with the way Energy Angels have run competitions and interacted on social media,” adds Lewis.
“But we are also keen to ensure that we help spread some of the powerful messages of the initiatives of the Foundation, both via this sponsorship and support provided by volunteering towards projects such as Feed Our Pack.
“We have had some great success with the Wolves Women sponsorship already and they have been fantastic over the last couple of years, but with the way everything has been affected by the pandemic, it feels like our overall partnership across the different areas with Wolves will really get going this season and that is something we are really looking forward to.”
As a club and Foundation we are excited to progress with Energy Angels across the 2021/22 season, and look forward to creating opportunities and changing lives.
- To keep up to date with Foundation activity visit @wwfcfoundation on social media or check out the Wolves Foundation news page.
- Click here to visit Energy Angels website or follow them on social media @EnergyWolves.
Greg Jackson, head of partnerships at Energy Angels, is pictured with Luke and Gavin and a selection of players at a recent Wolves Disability FC training session.