A blog written by some young supporters…We are currently in Level Playing Field’s weeks of action, which in 2017 runs between 4th-19th March. And below we proudly present a blog written by young disabled supporter Millie and her friend Fern, who were mascots at our recent fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
LPF is a registered charity and acts as a campaigning and advisory organisation to its membership and other parties across all sports – you can learn more about the provisions we take at Madejski Stadium to make sure that the matchday experience for disabled supporters is a positive one!
Millie and Fern are regular Royals attendees, both home and away, and they took the opportunity to share their experiences throughout a memorable day
When we first arrived at the Madejski Stadium we were both really excited and looking forward to our mascot experience. We patiently waited for Gill to arrive and for our mascot day to begin. While we were waiting we saw a large group of excited DOS Kampen fans that had travelled to the game to see our manager Jaap Stam.
Then Gill arrived and we were taken up to the Princess Suite where we met the other mascots. We also met Stewart and Jack who were going to look after us for the day. We were given our mascot packages with our autograph books in.
After a short wait we were taken down into the tunnel where we waited for the players to arrive. There was an atmosphere of excitement as one by one the players arrived to sign autographs. For most of the mascots this were the first time meeting the players and our manager, even though we were excited we were familiar faces to the players as we wait to see them every match. The players were happy to sign and glad to see us, and some of them even having a joke with us.
Then we headed back upstairs, and waited patiently to be called down to pitchside for our warm up session. Each mascots was asked what player they would like to walk out with. We went to do our training, and Millie did training pitch side with Stewart. The players were training on the pitch beside us.
Then our moment arrived!!! We were called to line up down in the tunnel and a ramp was put down for Millie. The excitement built as we heard the roar of the crowd. And we headed off onto the pitch with our boys. Millie had chosen Chris Gunter and Fern chose Danny Williams.
We stood proudly in front of our boys and then walked along the line to shake hands with the opposition and Millie carried the match day ball. Then all the mascots had their picture taken with the match officials and our captain Paul McShane. Then we left the pitch for the game to start. It was a great experience for us and we really enjoyed it. To top it off we went out and won 2-1. We must by lucky mascots.
We provide many provisions to help disabled supporters have an enjoyable day at Madejski Stadium. Here are some examples of how we try to help…
• We offer free tickets to carers who come with supporters with all types of disability, including mobility issues, visual impairments, ambulant disabilities or learning difficulties.
• There is a total of 87 wheelchair places at Madejski Stadium, across all four stands (including away supporters), so you can choose where best to view the game from... or even join us in our Hospitality suites!
• We offer places in the South West corner for visually impaired supporters where match commentary is available through headsets which are available on request. Guide dogs are also permitted within the stadium bowl.
• For the 2017/18 season, we are offering a further 30 car parking spaces for disabled supporters on site at Madejski Stadium – bringing us up to a total of 152!
• In conjunction with ReadiBus and STAR, we provide a door-to-door transport system for disabled supporters to attend home and away matches.
• Earlier this season we hosted a disabled supporters’ focus group to find out what we’re doing well, and what could be better – and we’re using that feedback!
• Our Disabled Ticketing Co-Coordinator can be reached by ringing 0118 968 1017 or emailing email@example.com to help book tickets and provide further information on any other queries you might have.
• For a guide for disabled supporters attending matches at Madejski Stadium, click here.