SUFFOLK FA are supporting Level Playing Field’s ‘Weeks of Action’ campaign.
Disability charity Level Playing Field are celebrating their 17th ‘Weeks of Action’ campaign from Saturday, February 27th to Sunday, March 14th.
The campaign aims to showcase the good work being done by clubs and organisations to improve accessibility and inclusion across all sports.
As with fans, Level Playing Field will be absent from the terraces this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which means they will be taking their campaign online for the first time ever.
To support the campaign, Suffolk FA are getting involved by helping their disabled participants and grassroots football community to learn about Level Playing Field – understand what they do, what their aims are to improve accessibility and inclusion, and how they can assist disabled fans.
Suffolk FA Inclusive Football Development Officer Kirsty Smith said: “Due to the pandemic the past 12 months have been some of the toughest and strangest for everyone and it has deprived people of a lot of things that they enjoy – including football.
“Football has always played an important role in people’s lives, whether that be playing, spectating, volunteering or being part of a club.
“The game itself provides huge benefits not only physically but mentally as well, by helping to reduce social isolation and creates that feeling of belonging and being part of something bigger.
“It’s important to raise awareness around the challenges and barriers that disabled supporters face on a matchday and ensure we share best practice of what clubs can do help support and make it a more enjoyable experience for everybody.
“At the end of the day, we want more disabled fans attending live sport and having a better experience; we feel the best way in doing this is by education and sharing best practice.
“Suffolk FA are committed to ensuring an inclusive and accessible matchday for all and we are proud to support Level Playing Field and the Weeks of Action.”
In conjunction with Ipswich Town FC, Suffolk FA are delivering a free event at Portman Road on Wednesday, March 10th from 1pm-3pm.
The session will include a few drills, fun games and promote social interaction.
If you would like to be involved in the session then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are Level Playing Field?
Level Playing Field are a sports charity that act as a campaigning and advisory organisation for disabled sports fans.
Level Playing Field work behind the scenes with clubs to help improve accessibility at sports venues to ensure disabled people can experience the best possible match day.
Common areas of improvement are sensory rooms, accessible toilets, audio commentary and accessible club shops and food concession stands that include drop down counters.
The charity supports disabled sports fans through the following channels:
- Membership programme – Free to join, Invites to annual events and regional/national forums, Weekly ‘match day’ newsletter, Quarterly fan specific newsletter, Access to expert advice & guidance on access & inclusion issues plus many more benefits.
- Talking Sport – Initiative launched to help reduce loneliness and isolation during the pandemic.
- Match of the Day…Before – Every Monday the Fans Liaison Team host an open-invitation zoom call, where fans can come along and chat about all the weekend action.
- The Level Playing Field Podcast – Monthly podcast series with guests across the sporting community.
For more information on any of this please contact email@example.com
Weeks of Action
In its 17th season, Level Playing Field’s annual Weeks of Action campaign looks to shine a light on the positive work being done by clubs, DSA’s, Fans and other organisations towards access and inclusion.
These were established in 2005 to help highlight the positive initiatives undertaken by clubs, sporting venues and their governing bodies and now forms an established part of the sporting calendar.
The Level Playing Field Weeks of Action present an opportunity for clubs to organise and host matchday/non-matchday events and activities to show their commitment to access and inclusion.
The main aim is to drive a greater matchday experience to encourage more disabled fans to watch the ‘beautiful game’.
The key objective of #WeeksOfAction is to raise awareness of good access and inclusion and how it benefits disabled fans and the wider community.
With the suspension of supporters in stadia earlier this season, this year’s theme focuses on ‘the importance of live sport’ on supporters’ wellbeing.
Throughout the year we have seen clubs support their community and it is crucial that we continue to celebrate the good work that continues to be done up and down the country.
Sixty two percent of fans have said that if they were unable to return to live sport this season, they fear it would have a huge impact on their own mental health.