In the week building up to Norwich’s dedicated Weeks of Action fixture on the 5 March against Brentford, a group of 20 students from the Clare School – a school a specialist ‘Physical and Sensory’ Complex Needs School – were given a tour of Carrow Road.
The following day, the club hosted an ‘accessibility challenge’ quiz night via Zoom, where Norwich challenged local rivals Ipswich Town.
The day before the game, ten disabled season ticket holders visited the club’s community venue (The Nest) and were given a guided tour of the facilities.
On matchday, the Canaries kicked off with a Q&A session with Level Playing Field’s chief executive officer Owain Davies, Norwich’s disability liaison officer Stephen Graham, and Mike Heard of Match Buddies scheme. This took place in the stadium’s accessible lounge.
The topics discussed in the Q&A section were Weeks of Action, the Match Buddy scheme, and other disabled fans’ topics.
Volunteers on matchday wore Level Playing Field t-shirts, as well as Soccer-sight commentators, Andy the buggy driver, Match Buddies, stadium tour guides and Helpers in the Joma Community Stand.
Norwich also provided a nice touch and included a piece about Level Playing Field and Weeks of Action in the matchday programme.
Sheffield United celebrated the campaign during their evening game against Nottingham Forest on Friday 4 March.
The club invited their academy nominated charity, PACES, to the game and they had a mixture of 33 pupils, parents, and carers in attendance sat in the south stand’s disability seats. The club also provided food in the disabled supporters lounge for those that utilise this space pre-match. A local school was also offered use of the sensory room at Bramall Lane on the evening.
At half-time, a video about an overseas disabled supporter called Reece – who follows the Blades – with a great background story was shown on the screen. Reece is also linked closely to PACES, who will also feature as part of the video on the evening, highlighting their charity work and links to Sheffield United and Level Playing Field.
There were the usual matchday activations including players warming up in Level Playing Field t-shirts, social media posts across the clubs’ channels, and in the lead-up a piece in the matchday programme about Level Playing Field and Weeks of Action.
In addition to all of this, a cheque presentation from the Sheffield United Disabled Supporters group took place at half-time in front of the dugouts, for two young supporters that they have sponsored – a great touch to round off the brilliant Weeks of Action celebrations.
Fan liaison officer Liam Bird was also present at both Aston Villa men’s and women’s games on Saturday 5 March, as both sets of players showed their support warming up in Level Playing Field t-shirts and the club displaying the charity’s logo on the big screen and other digital spaces.
Liam spoke to a supporter at both games, as well as the chair of the disabled supporter’s association for a special Aston Villa Podcast.