Trailblazers have today launched their ‘Move the Goal Posts’ report which has discovered the inferior experience that many young disabled people face when attending sports venues.
Highlighting the importance of spectator sports for many young disabled fans, the report found the following barriers that affected their matchday experience, and in many cases from attending them in the first place:
Half have had to sit away from family and friends.
Some disabled fans face intimidation and feel in danger by having to sit with opposing fans (one in three had to do so)
Nearly nine out of ten feel disadvantaged by the ticket booking system.
Shocking accounts of disabled fans forced to sit in the rain, with over half having had to sit in an unsheltered seating area
One in four say that venue access, including parking, is the number one reason for not attending more sporting events.
Almost half call for accessible toilets to be improved.
Midlands Trailblazer, Harriet Butler, said, “I’m such a huge sports fan. Going to cricket, football and rugby is a big part of who I am. The whole day out is a great release and occasion. You just can’t beat the excitement of a good match. Sadly though, disabled people like me are at a huge disadvantage in enjoying the games we love.”
“I’m almost always split up from family and friends as there is only one space for a carer. Sport for me is all about the day out, being together, sharing the highs and lows. Ticketing too is awkward with a costly, understaffed helpline. Sometimes disabled sports fans like me are left feeling like an afterthought when we love sport as much as anyone else.”
Trailblazers Project Manager, Tanvi Vyas, said, “It is disappointing that four years after the big promises of a Paralympic legacy, so many disabled people are clearly frustrated, limited and let down by their sporting experience. That they feel shut-out from events they love due to venue layout and accessibility is a national disgrace.”
“If venues recognised not only the passion of disabled sports fans, but the two hundred billion spending power of disabled households, then everyone would gain from better inclusion. We urge the sports industry to put accessibility at the heart of stadium design and renovation, and to engage with charities like ours so every sports fan, regardless of disability, can follow their passion.”
Read: Move the Goal Posts report
Bracknell News – Disabled sports fan hits out at unfit football venues