England and Wales, 3 to 18 March 2018 - Level Playing Field are delighted to announce that the 2018 Weeks of Action campaign title is #OurMatchday.
This theme will focus on raising awareness of the positive work clubs do in providing an inclusive match day, whilst also sharing disabled fans’ experience of their match day.
In its 13th year, this Weeks of Action looks to inspire and encourage more disabled people to attend live football and sports matches and become fans. This comes off the back of the recent UEFA and CAFE (Centre for Access to Football in Europe) publications that state only 50% of disabled people have participated in a leisure or sporting activity, and Level Playing Field wish to support a change with that!
LPF Chief Executive Owain Davies said: “We are delighted to launch the 2018 ‘Weeks of Action’ #OurMatchday. This theme allows fans and the clubs to share the good experiences they have and the positive work being carried out by clubs and DSAs (Disabled Supporters Associations) to ensure matchdays are accessible, inclusive and for the whole community.”
You will find information on disabled fans’ facilities at clubs and stadia, along with useful information on our website - www.levelplayingfield.org.uk.
What are the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action?
LPF’s Weeks of Action were established in 2005 to help highlight the positive initiatives undertaken by clubs, sporting venues and their governing bodies in partnership with disabled sports fans and disabled supporters associations (DSAs).
The campaign, now an established date on the sports calendar, is a great opportunity for clubs to organise and host matchday and non-matchday events and activities to show their commitment to access and inclusion for disabled spectators. The 2018 campaign will run from Saturday 3rd March to Sunday 18th March.
Weeks of Action 2018 will promote a message of access and inclusion and celebrate #OurMatchday. The Digital Campaign For the 2018 Weeks of Action we’re once again looking to create a real buzz on social media and encourage everyone to join the digital campaign.
We are urging followers to post messages of support for the campaign, as well as details of their Weeks of Action activities on social media.
Disabled people are the largest minority group in any population, and with sport having such a unique capacity to bring people together, accessible and inclusive stadia are essential for disabled people to take their rightful places and to participate fully within our society.
For this to be possible, it is important to remove stereotypes and for all barriers to inclusion to be removed whether they be societal, physical, sensory, intellectual and attitudinal.
Weeks of Action is a celebration of those who make access and inclusion for disabled sports fans a reality, whilst also recognising that there is much work still left to do. This is a chance to celebrate the matchday experience for disabled fans. We hope by shining a light on the positives of attending a live matchday will help remove those barriers and promote a culture of accessibility and inclusiveness within sport.
Put simply, changing the game for disabled people changes lives.
On Saturday, at Brunton Park, you will see a group of children who have a range of disabilities and who are massive United fans. They have set up a football team and have attended a number of activities with the club recently, and have had an enjoyable time in the process. They will form our guard of honour, complete with flag waving, as the players walk out of the tunnel ahead of kick off and have been given free tickets for the game as a thank you for their efforts.
We also have a group from Eden Mencap, who support children with learning difficulties and autism in the Borders region. They will be holding the Level Playing Fields banner in front of the pre-match line-up.
We are also delighted to welcome members of Young People First: Access All Areas. This is a charity funded by Children in Need. They help with confidence in young people who have all kinds of disabilities. They go into schools and also provide a safe environment for children outside of school, and we are looking forward to watching them taking part in a penalty shoot-out at half time.
Our Disabled Supporter Group chairman Barry Carter is available to give advice on how to join his organisation at the CUOSC surgery held ahead of every home game, in the Study Centre, adjacent to the Blues Store.
Remember, you can get involved in the Weeks of Action campaign by posting your messages of support on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #OurMatchday.
Our Twitter Page: @lpftweets
Our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/lpftweets
For more information on Weeks of Action: http://www.levelplayingfield.org.uk/weeks-action-2018/