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Level Playing Field launch neurodiverse sports fans research project

21 January 2021

Level Playing Field are undertaking a national research project in partnership with the Sports Ground Safety Authority into the experiences of neurodiverse sports fans when attending live sports events - and Newport County AFC fans can play their part in the project.

The organisation are seeking to recruit people who have autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, or dyscalculia, Tourette’s Syndrome, or other neurodevelopmental conditions and who are sports fans.

It doesn't matter whether you attend any of the Exiles' games regularly, or at all, because they are also interested in understanding why you may not attend fixtures.

Ruth Hopkins, General Manager at Level Playing Field said: "There is an absence of information regarding the access requirements of neurodiverse sports fans and the current rewriting of the Accessible Stadia Guide is the ideal time to incorporate the findings from this research.

"We know that with the best of intentions in the absence of information, assumptions are often made, and we want to provide clubs and service providers with some clear and tangible guidance to ensure an inclusive, safe, and enjoyable environment for everyone.

"The importance of sensory rooms for many (now a feature at so many clubs) cannot be underestimated, but we know they are only a solution for one small cross-section of the neurodiverse spectrum. The best way to do the research is by speaking to representative organisations and to fans themselves and NatCen are very experienced in gathering this type of information.

"This is a call to action, to get in touch and to share your experiences – whether good or bad – and contribute to this important piece of work."

Martyn Henderson, Chief Executive of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, said: "We are pleased to fund this important primary research as part of our ongoing commitment to improve evidence in relation to spectator safety.

"Ensuring that sports grounds are safe and accessible for people with neurodiverse conditions is important to SGSA and we look forward to the outcomes of the research and future collaboration with Level Playing Field."

Newport County AFC would like to encourage our supporters to assist in the research project, and you can find out more information about getting involved by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can contact Ruth at Level Playing Field – ruth@levelplayingfield.org.uk.


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