The 16th annual Level Playing Field (LPF) Weeks of Action is set to get underway with clubs, disabled supporters associations (DSAs) and fans joining together to celebrate the matchday experience for disabled fans.
From Saturday 29 February to Sunday 15 March there will be an array of matchday and non-matchday activities hosted by sports clubs that shine a light on the good work that is done to improve the enjoyment and experience of disabled sports fans.
Newcastle Town FC have recruited their first inclusion officer to ensure the club is disability friendly, inclusive and providing opportunities for individuals in the local community. Creating a link with Regent College, learners have been supporting match days including selling programmes and preparing refreshment drinks, which is providing the individuals with an opportunity to develop key social skills.
The club commented: “The club is delighted that Julia has agreed to become the club’s first inclusion officer. Julia has been involved in the club for 12 months since the club and Regent College formed a partnership to enable more people to access local football and community opportunities. Julia will concentrate on ensuring the club is disability friendly, inclusive and creates many more opportunities for local people.”
Julia added: “Regent College is a specialist College for young adults with learning difficulties, autism and complex needs. We work in partnership with many employers, organisations and groups to break down the barriers individuals with disabilities often face. Our community presence gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of disabilities and to celebrate the skills and qualities our young people offer.
“We are really enjoying our Saturday afternoons volunteering, socialising and watching football at Newcastle Town FC. Sam and Stacey frequently attend home games and they are thoroughly enjoying the responsibility of selling the programmes and golden goal tickets to the spectators. Nathan’s job is to restock the fridges in the social club and prepare the drinks in the tea bar prior to a game. These roles give our learners the chance to develop social and communication skills in a safe environment and they are vital employability skills which will help for the future. The regulars at the club have made us feel very welcome and included so the whole experience is really positive.
“Attending the football at the weekend has really opened the social network for our leaners and it’s great to see them getting involved with the atmosphere of the game, alongside families and the local community. I am looking forward to developing this with Newcastle Town and local disability groups so together we can increase community inclusion and opportunities for all.”
Leek Town FC have a well-established adult ability counts section which currently consists of two adult teams participating within the Staffordshire Ability Counts League as well as three adult teams participating within the Sandwell Inclusion League.
On Saturday 21 March 2020, Leek Town FC will play Newcastle Town FC at 3pm and will be dedicating this match as part of the Level Playing Fields #WeeksOfAction campaign. The club will be having various offers for tickets and refreshments on the day to encourage more individuals and groups in the community to come along and celebrate football.
Following the 1st team match at 5pm, Leek Town Ability Counts will play Cannock Town Disability for the David Neil Memorial Cup and fans are encouraged to stay for both matches at the ground on the day to enjoy the football being played.
If you are interested in finding out more get in touch with Leek Town to find out how you can support their event.
This game is Port Vale’s chosen Level Playing Field celebration fixture and they will be sharing it with pupils from Portland School & Specialist College, who will be taking part in the flag bearers guard of honour before kick off.
Players will also be wearing Level Playing Field shirts during their warm up.
Read more about Port Vale’s match day activities HERE
On Monday 9 March 2020, the club have invited Regent College, along with a couple of other colleges in the local area, to take part in the college football sessions at the club to provide players with an opportunity to play on the pitch and have a look around the ground.
On Saturday 14 March 2020, Newcastle Town FC will play Belper Town in the Norther Premier League South and will be using this fixture as part of the Level Playing Field #WeeksOfAction campaign to raise awareness of good access, inclusion and how it benefits disabled fans and the wider community. They are inviting the community to join them in attending the match and supporting the campaign.
Find out more through the flyer below at the bottom of this page.
To find out more about the Level Playing Field #WeeksOfAction, please visit the following link: