Welcome to the 2017/18 Season!
But we can’t possibly talk about that before mentioning our closing event of the 2016/17 season that was London Pride!

The whole event was a roaring success with a significant West Ham presence including the truly amazing Hammerhead! That’s right! West Ham’s OFFICIAL mascot joined us on the day and he was so very nearly the star of the show. I say nearly, because that accolade had to be shared by 8 year-old Kenzie – son of POI member Ian. Kenzie and Hammerhead worked the crowd for all it was worth, getting opposite sides of the parade to compete in cheering contests and posing for selfies. The duo were unstoppable!

So…this season…

Where do we start? It’s not been great on the pitch has it? But there’s not a lot we can do to affect that. What we CAN affect is the kind of season we have as a group, so with that in mind, here’s what we’re planning:

Meet-Ups
We want to get to know more of you and to build a community between our members. With that in mind, we will be arranging not just events such as charity quizzes, Pride parade attendance etc, but more informal meet-ups. To do this we will be ensuring that there will be a committee member at a bar nearby the stadium (members, see your emails for details) before every game. So please swing by and grab a beer, G&T or whatever your poison is and come have a chat.

As an added incentive, every member we meet will be given a Pride Of Irons badge (pictured below). We know the Rainbow is a distinctive LGBT symbol, but part of the reason we picked a logo without one is so that it only stands out to those in the know. So if you see someone with a badge, you know that they’re also LGBT or an ally. We hope this will also help to build new friendships. Now I know I just said we picked a logo without the rainbow on purpose, but…more of that later…

What do you REALLY want?
Honestly? Tell us. Because we look at other groups and they all have their identities. Some are strongly focussed on activism and fighting for equality and inclusion. Some are more social. Each has their own identity, but what do you want Pride Of Irons to be? We’ll be pulling together a survey to send out in the coming weeks, but if you could have a think before that comes out, that’d be great!

Pride Of Irons…stuff?
We’ve been messaged a few times about whether or not we have t-shirts and other bits and bobs available, but we’re just not sure there’s an appetite. POI was never set up to make a profit so if this is something people are interested in, we’ll use an online facility that prints to order so it certainly won’t be used as a money-maker. Let us know what you think.

Now, about that Rainbow…
You’ve probably seen other team grounds on the TV with rainbow banners for their LGBT groups. This is not something we have actively pursued previously, however we have been offered a space in the stadium by the club. Now this is not just an LGBT thing. All supporters groups can contribute, however to stand out as an LGBT group, there will be a rainbow element in there. Keep your eyes out around the stadium.

Okay, that’s it for now folks! Hope to see you soon!

COME ON YOU IRONS!

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