Officially celebrations of #OurMatchday on 10th March 2018 included:
- The 1st eleven warmed up in LPF T Shirts which they had signed and then threw them in to the crowd which the kids in particular loved.
- The mascot also paraded around in his LPF T-Shirt much to the amusement of the crowd.
- The Junior and Adult Ability Football Team and the Extra Time Club (over 60s) were part of our Community Parade around the pitch thus demonstrating that sport is for all no matter your age, gender or ability.
- Bristol Rovers DSA launched their DSA badge which allows those with hidden disabilities to be identifiable and save stewards having to ask potentially embarrassing questions.
Other ongoing efforts and achievements to improve the matchday experience for all include:
- Smoothed out and then put tarmac down behind the West Stand which is where ambulant disabled fans walk to get to their seats.
- Created 3 wheelchair shelters to provide cover for those users of wheelchairs.
- Providing blankets for those who were feeling the cold at the Northampton match last Saturday.
- Lent out DAB radios to those who wished to listen to a live commentary of the match.
- Put in handrails in 4 toilets in the Clubhouse to assist ambulant disabled spectators.
- At the Board Meeting funding was approved to smooth out the area behind the Clubhouse to prevent trips and slips as well as to make it easier for wheelchair users.
- The Club also agreed to hire in 2 accessible toilets to bolster the options available as they recognise that, with the population living longer, the percentage of registered and unregistered disabled people is likely to rise.
- The DSA as per usual met the away disabled supporters to gain feedback and also to assist them with any queries.
- Providing dedicated steward for each wheelchair area.
Dave Parker, the Disabled Supporter Lead and Safety Officer at Bristol Rovers rings the away club about a week pre match to ascertain how many wheelchair users will be attending, if any disabled supporter requires a parking space or if they merely wish to drop off close to the away turnstile. He also finds out if they have any special requirements. A good example of this is that at Saturday’s match a gentleman was attending who was on oxygen and had 2 helpers. Dave was able to meet him and provide support.
There is also a Diversity Day next Tuesday when, after the 1st eleven train, Bristol Rovers’ Adult Ability Team will be playing an exhibition match and then they will be lunching with the 1st eleven squad and the manager. This went down very well last year.
Dave Parker the Disabled Supporter Lead and Safety Officer at Bristol Rovers says ” Having a brother with the gift of Down Syndrome means that treating people fairly and as you would wish to be treated yourself is very close to my heart. Also sport really must be for everyone no matter what your ability, gender or age we should all be able to enjoy it. I know that the Memorial Stadium is an old ground but that does not mean that we cannot try make the match day experience as best as possible for everyone and this is my mantra and what I ask my team to do. They are my Olympic Games Makers and supporting the work of LPF is something that we try to do not just during this weeks of action but throughout the year. LPF have been extremely supportive and long may this continue.”
You can read the Weeks of Action article on Bristol Rovers’ website here.