Weeks of Action 2017 – Clubs, DSAs and fans join together to celebrate the #GameChangers
Between the 4th – 19th March clubs, DSAs and fans joined together to celebrate the ‘Game Changers’ for the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action. Here we recap the highlights of another successful campaign where we counted on the support of more participants than ever before.
We launched the campaign by introducing the joint FA & EFL film, 'Access for all: A game-changing experience' which you can watch below:
Club and DSA Activities
We were delighted that once again more clubs from across the football pyramid joined in the Weeks of Action celebrations by celebrating the ‘Game Changers of access and inclusion, in many cases joining forces with their respective disabled supporters association (DSAs), club community schemes and supporters trusts.
Manchester United got the Weeks of Action activities underway with ball assistants, mascot Fred the Red and matchday staff in LPF t-shirts with LPF pennants creating a buzz around the campaign at Old Trafford. Manchester United DSA (MUDSA) made a generous donation towards the LPF #GameChangers t-shirts.
Elsewhere Premier League clubs celebrated the ‘Game Changers’ including Everton introducing the role of the club’s Disability Access Officer, West Bromwich Albion announced ambitious new accessibility plans and Crystal Palace recognised a range of club ‘Game Changers’ with awards for those who had improved access and inclusion with pitchside presentations at Selhurst Park.
Tottenham Hotspur introduced ‘Accessible Toilet’ signage at White Hart Lane recognising that not all disabilities are visible, which gained great support from fans who require accessible toilet facilities. AFC Bournemouth recognised the work of Martin & Mohammed who have gone the extra mile to help disabled supporters at the club.
EFL clubs were also out in force showing their support for the campaign over the Weeks of Action fortnight.
Notts County told the story of Tyler and how the club introducing Sensory Rooms has been a ‘Game Changer’ for autistic fans with a blog feature and video, whilst Preston North End told the story of Albert and the club’s search for a companion who could assist him at Deepdale on matchdays. Reading also featured a fans story with Millie & Fern's mascot blog of their matchday at the Madejski Stadium.
Birmingham City introduced a new matchday Disability Liaison Officer to their supporters, and Sheffield United dedicated a home game as 'Level Playing Field day' with a range of matchday activities.
Elsewhere Bradford City celebrated a variety of the club’s ‘Game Changers’, Bolton Wanderers put the spotlight on the work of young disabled fan Morgan Parry and his efforts to improve access & inclusion for disabled football fans. Luton Town delivered dementia training to club staff with the help of the Alzheimers Society, and Newport County also focused on mental health as part of their matchday activities.
Weeks of Action Blogs
We were delighted to feature a number of blogs throughout the Weeks of Action fortnight focusing on a range of topics surrounding access and
inclusion for disabled sports fans, tying in with our #GameChangers theme.
Below are just a few examples, you can access the full list here
Who backed the Weeks of Action campaign?
We also gained some high profile support for the campaign including David Bernstein, Lord Faulkner, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Kick it Out - See who supported Weeks of Action here.
CAFE - A European Perspective
Once again we were proud to align our Weeks of Action campaign with our friends and partners Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) for their Week of Action - Total Football Total Access.
There were a range of activities held across Europe celebrating a message of #totalaccess including at FC Barcelona, and Dutch legend Ruud Van Nistelrooy also offered a message of access and inclusion to mark a successful campaign. Read more here.
Level Playing Field would like to express our thanks and gratitude to all those who have participated in this year’s Weeks of Action campaign and helping make it a real success.
Level Playing Field Chair, Tony Taylor said: "Weeks of Action is now an established part of the sporting calendar and everyone at LPF was delighted to see more participants than ever before for the 2017 campaign. By joining together and celebrating the ‘Game Changers’ we have sent a powerful message of access and inclusion for all, and we would like to send our sincere thanks to all those who have got involved in this campaign."