LOFT nominated for local community sport award
The Leyton Orient Fans' Trust (LOFT) has been nominated for an award at the annual Feel Good Waltham Forest Sport Awards, for its role in the campaign to save the club during the traumatic 2016-17 season.
The awards, run by Waltham Forest Council, aim to acknowledge inspirational sports figures in the borough – from budding young sports stars to those who have helped others enjoy getting active and reaching their potential, to those who have helped promote and campaign for sport in the community. LOFT has been nominated in the Outstanding Services to Sport category.
The fans' trust was at the forefront of the fight to save the club from the disastrous mismanagement of former owner Francesco Becchetti, under whom the club were served with a winding-up order and were relegated from the Football League in May. LOFT organised public meetings, demonstrations and fund-raising events, represented shareholders and creditors in court, and rallied support and publicity for Orient's plight throughout the country, raising awareness and funds for a contingency regeneration fund.
The club was saved in June when lifelong O's fan Nigel Travis led a consortium that bought out Becchetti, and which has begun a constructive relationship with supporters, promising an elected supporter on the board as part of the rebuilding of the club.
In addition, the Leyton Orient Trust (LOT), which runs Orient's award-winning community sports programme, has been nominated for its "Man v Fat" initiative, which helps men deal with diet and fitness issues.
Commenting on the nomination, LOFT chairman Doug Harper said: "No doubt there will be a far worthier eventual winner, but it's nice to see our efforts recognised by our local authority, who we worked constructively with during the campaign to save our club.
"This nomination, along with LOT's, is a recognition both of the importance of the O's to the community in Waltham Forest, and of the brilliant way the whole Orient family rallied together to fight for our club's future."