Tuesday, 21 July 2015 09:06

Disabled Fans viewing platform

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DSAWrexham AFC Disabled Supporters Association took on the responsibility for fund raising for three wheelchair viewing platforms and were backed wholeheartedly by the Football Club and Wrexham Supporters Trust.

The Trust has raised in the region of £6,000 via its Turf Square sales and Photo Mosaic schemes, whilst the Football Club donated £3,000 by way of FA Community grants received from recent FA Cup runs. The Football Club has also donated one for the Mold Road Stand Executive boxes for use by the DSA.

Steve Gilbert, WAFC DSA Vice Chair, said: "The most pleasing aspect of the fundraising (apart from the magnificent help from Trust and Club) is the backing received from fans for the project and the value that they see in it.

It's particularly inspiring and humbling to see the various other supporters groups and the Former Players Association backing us.

But the job is not yet done and we must now focus on the projects ahead as we seek accessibility and inclusion for all."

The work done by the DSA, Club and Glyndwr University in facilitating this first viewing platform for wheelchair users in the platform1stadium, has recently been highlighted by Baroness Grey-Thompson in the House of Lords.

Speaking last week at the second reading of the Accessible Sports Grounds Bill [HL] which was moved by Lord Faulkner of Worcester, who incidentally is a vice president of the National League, Baroness Grey-Thompson spoke at length about disabled supporters and their issues at Sports Grounds

The following is an extract from Hansard, where she particularly mentions the club and developments at the Racecourse:

"Wrexham also got in touch with me via Twitter and adopted an altogether more positive tone. The club is 100% fan owned and the ownership body is Wrexham Supporters Trust. The stadium is owned by Glyndwr University and is the oldest
international football stadium in the world still in use. The club is not making any excuses about the age of the stadium. It is a non-league club and receives no FA/Football League pre-season “solidarity” payments or parachute payments, and, because of its status, its football in the community and centre for excellence denominations are also unfunded by the FA and Football League.

However, the club has done some incredible work. It sanctioned and facilitated the UK’s first ever autism-friendly football match and donated two separate cheques received from the proceeds of the FA Charity Shield for its FA Cup runs. Admission prices are fixed at the lowest ground rate for wheelchair fans based on the lack of choice that they have in viewing the match. The club does so much more. Its first wheelchair viewing platform will be available next week on Wednesday 22 July. Twenty of its season ticket holder fans voluntarily moved their seats to allow wheelchair users to watch the match. The club has a commitment to raising funds for two more wheelchair viewing platforms, one of which will be for away fans. This is a club that genuinely cares about its spectators."

You can read the whole debate in full by clicking here.