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Survey sets targets for clubs to improve access for disabled fans

Survey sets targets for clubs to improve access for disabled fans
24th August 2021 Ian Streets

A charity which works to highlight accessibility issues in sport has marker the start of the new football season by publishing its most comprehensive survey reviewing the matchday experience of disabled fans.
The survey by Level Playing Field has a strong focus on feedback which was sought with the aim of helping specific clubs target areas to improve their facilities and services.
Level Playing Field revealed that support from clubs, leagues and partners helped them broaden the reach of the survey with the result that they received a total of 1,408 responses.
Key findings include:
• 30 per cent of respondents stated that there were sports or sporting venues that they felt unable to attend due to poor access for disabled supporters
• 25 per cent said that “anxiety or lack of confidence” was a barrier when attending live sport
• Following lengthy restrictions on attending live sport due to the pandemic, 73 per cent of the supporters surveyed said they would want to attend a match “right away” once permitted
• The top three Covid measures that fans wanted in place when returning were: hand sanitising stations, hand washing facilities, and wearing of masks (bar exemptions)
Tony Taylor, Chair of Level Playing Field, said: “This first Level Playing Field annual fan survey provides a great insight into the experiences of disabled supporters as they attend live sport.
“We are grateful to the 1,408 fans who took the time to share their experiences with us. It is our hope and expectation that their responses will serve to bring about improvements to services and facilities as clubs see their feedback and comments.
“With 73 per cent of disabled fans eager to return to live sport ‘right away’ following various restrictions on attending, clubs need to ensure that they are ready, and this report can help with that preparation.
“There is clearly much that still needs to be done to ensure that disabled fans have an equal matchday experience to non-disabled fans. The fact that 30 per cent of respondents said there was a sport or sports venue they felt unable to attend, due to poor access, highlights this inequality.
“Level Playing Field will continue to promote full access and inclusion for disabled fans and we expect that will be reflected in the results of our future fan surveys.”
To download the report visit https://www.levelplayingfield.org.uk/

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