PB Palau d’Anglesola: Together, anything is possible

REPORTATGES 20 Mar 2020 - World Confederation of Supporters' Clubs

The supporters’ club is a key social player in the region of Lleida and has organised countless charitable activities since 2006 raising almost €20,000

The Penya Barcelonista del Palau d’Anglesola was founded in 2006, the same day the first team brought home a Champions League victory. According to the supporters’ club president, Josep Maria Crespo, “that was a prelude: we were on the threshold of the greatest team in FC Barcelona’s history”. In a town of just over 2,100 inhabitants, the supporters’ club has more than 315 members, all insatiable FC Barcelona devotees. Since the beginning, the club members have taken their involvement in social, recreational and sporting initiatives very seriously, because “as members of an FC Barcelona supporters’ club, we have a deep sense of responsibility towards our Club”.

It was therefore clear they wanted to become an official supporters’ club. After a couple of meetings with around fifty people, in which the initial idea was developed, FC Barcelona put them in contact with the president of their region, the Federation of Lleida Sud i La Franja. “It was never an option to go alone. We wanted to be part of this Club”, explains Josep Maria.

The “Together, anything is possible” campaign

During the 2018-2019 season, the Lleida-based supporters’ club embarked on “a dream”, a wonderful path it wants to keep repeating: the campaign Together, anything is possible. During that year, the ‘penya’ organised a series of social, cultural, community-based and sporting activities, all for one charitable purpose: to raise funds to help make the new Paediatric Cancer Centre at the SJD Children’s Hospital a reality. This children’s oncology centre, which is currently being built thanks to the population’s selfless collaboration, will be able to provide the best treatment to children with cancer.

The challenge facing the supporters’ club members was clear: they needed to raise €12,000. To do so, they organised charitable meals and hot chocolate, selling tickets and bracelets and holding sponsored walks, cycling events, tournaments, musical performances, talks, raffles, etc. The youngest supporters’ club members even created a video featuring a number of well-known people, who pledged their support to the initiative: Kilian Jornet, Víctor Valdés, Joan Capdevila, Bojan Krkic and many more.

Aware of the collective strength of Barça supporters’ clubs and confident the town residents would support their efforts, the club threw itself into the project, in which over 50 volunteers and 60 companies and institutions ultimately took part. The campaign ended with a non-stop 12-hour charitable party on June, which brought together 700 people and succeeded in raising €19,200. “What started off as a dream is now a reality that shows that ‘together, anything is possible’. It sounds incredible, but we’re already planning the second edition, in which we expect to outdo ourselves”, excitedly explains the supporters’ club president and driving force behind the project. In fact, they have already begun raising funds with performances of the show Pastorets as part of the Christmas Festival.

A charitable supporters’ club par excellence

Although individual efforts work, the supporters’ club members are well aware they can achieve a greater impact when working together. In this regard, the supporters’ club is a major social and charitable player in the region. Over the past five years, they have organised a clothing and toy drive under the motto “A toy, a dream”. For the first time ever, ten neighbouring towns, took part in this year’s edition -most of which are home to local supporters’ clubs that threw their full weight into the project- helping to collect 1,200 kilos of clothes and over 1,000 toys.

Furthermore, over the past 14 years, they have strengthened, even professionalised, their biggest asset: the ability to help others. From community activities such as barbecues, al fresco dinners, talks and plays to recreational activities such as the Salsa Party, attended by over 500 people, and the 80s and 90s Revival Party, with over 1,000 attendees. “The years go by, but the memories we have of these parties are incredible. For members of the supporters’ club, the motto Més que un Club is not just a catchphrase, it’s the leitmotif that sums up our efforts since the beginning”, concludes Josep Maria.