Saturday’s fixture sees the Club and Disabled Supporters Association (DSA) celebrating Level Playing Fields (LPF) Weeks of Action for this year. The DSA have chosen this fixture as our opponents Luton Town also have a proactive DSA who have done some fabulous work including leading their Club to becoming a Dementia Friendly organisation.
As part of this years’ Weeks of Action, we welcome a group of children and some of their families from the Thrive Charity to attend their first Football game. Some of the children will also lead the teams out with the Weeks of Action banner to promote the event.
Level Playing Fields is a charity dedicated to promoting good access to sporting events for all fans. Each year, they run a themed “Weeks of Action” which is a fortnight of events and activities aimed at increasing awareness of the struggles which some supporters face when simply trying to attend a football match.
This year’s Weeks of Action theme is #OurMatchday and focuses on highlighting some of the positive work and initiatives being undertaken by Clubs and DSAs.
Our DSA that was formed in 2015 has grown rapidly and supported a large number of supporters with information, attending and being comfortable at games. The groups’ volunteers usually find that a quick chat and offering some assistance removes many of the potential barriers that could be experienced by a supporter with disabilities attending a match at Rodney Parade. The DSA were also at the heart of a case study that the EFL shared on their “EFL in the Community” page earlier this season in which the EFL highlighted a particular story of County supporter Paul Olander and how the DSA helped him enjoy watching regular football again. The DSA have also provided crucial assistance to the Club with advice and support and are in constant talks with the Club and Rodney Parade about improving Disabled Access and Facilities at the Stadium.
Here is a “Matchday in the Life” of the DSA:
1st volunteer arrives to support Disabled Supporters with parking passes in Maindee School
The rest of the DSA Matchday Volunteers arrive to coordinate the Accessible spaces in Rodney Parade (after liaising with supporters to organise parking).
Support is available by Entrance Gate 2 for any supporters that need to be dropped off whilst their driver parks
Blankets and emergency ponchos are placed on the North Terrace and Hazell Terrace for home supporters and also the away end for those who have travelled. Wheelchairs are prepared for use if requested
Accessible facilities are checked for any potential issues for supporters and fed back to the club, revised plans discussed and implemented
Rodney Parade parking closes. Matchday Volunteers now check on the North Terrace viewing platform. Any visiting supporters that require support are assisted by the DSA to join their supporters. Volunteers remain available in case they are needed to support the ticket office or further supporters arriving need any assistance.
Maindee School car park shuts
If no further assistance is needed the volunteers make their way into the stadium for the game.
At half time volunteers check for any issues for disabled supporters and if the weather is bad offer blankets and emergency ponchos for use.
At the final whistle, volunteers assist supporters to their cars (if needed), collect in blankets and return wheelchair to storage.
To find out more about the fantastic work of the Amber DSA, please visit our website: www.newport-county.co.uk/fans/disabled-supporters-association/
JOIN US AT RODNEY PARADE TOMORROW.
TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM THE TICKET OFFICE
Saturday: 10am- Kick Off