Disabled people constitute the largest minority group at around 15%-20% of the population and this number is increasing year on year.
Naturally, a large number of disabled people are football fans too and we are pleased to take this opportunity to thank our own disabled fans for their continued loyalty and dedication to our club. This year’s weeks of action, which take place from 2nd to 17th March, aim to celebrate the matchday experience for disabled fans. We want to shine a light on the positives of attending a live matchday and in turn help remove those barriers and promote a culture of accessibility and inclusiveness within sport.
Ann Holland, Hull City’s Disability Liaison Officer, looks after the Club’s disabled fans on matchdays and is a point of contact throughout the week, and offers a warm welcome to disabled home and away supporters at the KCOM Stadium. “Football plays an important part in peoples’ lives. It might be they have not attended a football match for a long time or even at all. We arrange visits to the ground on non-matchdays to help familiarise them with the layout of the KCOM Stadium, and let them know about the easy access we also have for ambulant disabled supporters. They have the choice of where to sit in the stadium, taking into account their own individual needs and we offer the opportunity for any supporters in wheelchairs to look at where the wheelchair bays are situated, all of which have personal assistant seats next to them. If a supporter finds, after they have chosen their seat, that they wish to be in another area we will always look to accommodate their request.
“As well as all of this, on request to assist supporters further, we have sets of ear defenders available, and headsets for visually impaired supporters. Guide Dogs and Assistant Dogs are also welcome at the KCOM Stadium. In addition, we have a quiet room which supporters are welcome to use from kick-off until half an hour after full time, with television screens showing the live action.
“Disabled fans are part of the crowd, who enjoy football the same as everyone else, and we aim to give them the same matchday experience as everyone else.”
This campaign, Level Playing Field are joining together with sports clubs, fans and organisations across England and Wales to celebrate the #WeeksOfAction to not only promote the positive experience had by disabled fans but also the message of access and inclusion for all.
Alternatively, you may wish to send a message of support to @lpftweets on Twitter using the hashtag #WeeksOfAction