Premier League Brighton leading way for fan inclusion
Sky Sports News followed Jack Holloway-Bartle and Brighton & Hove Albion fans George for their matchday experience in the Amex in Falmer.
George is a wheelchair user and he and his brother Jack are all still autistic.
Seeing Brighton is a part of George’s life and participate in sport has assisted him day-to-day. “I have trouble walking round the stadium. My wheelchair that means a great deal personally and is indeed useful to me. The stadium is excellent and the staff are all brilliant. Just being at the games assists me, the air is simply brilliant.”
There are corridors and lifts . Brighton charity, Albion from the Community, held a fundraiser for George back so that he could get a wheelchair of his own.
George added,”They’ve done brilliantly, they’ve done very good. Donating that chair to me was terrific.”
George’s father Matthew Bartle takes him and brother Jack into Brighton’s home matches.
“I requires quite a bit of time to get the boys ready for a match because they have extra demands. Together with my youngest Jack, he needs a calm atmosphere for a period and gets a good deal of anxiety.
“Once we get there we’ve got a handicapped parking area in the floor. There’s also a lift for us up into the viewing place where Jack and George sit, it’s excellent.
“The club gets the balance right. Between having the facilities and making people feel included. They’re not segregated and feel a part of the group. For me as a parent that is crucial.”
Staff in the stadium are trained to assist fans who don’t have visual needs. Millie Crowhurst wishes to make every enthusiast feel included and is the disability liaison officer of Brighton & Hove Albion.
“Inside the floor we have got a hidden disability wristband scheme for our fans who want it. They can show that this wristband to any member of steward or security and they will provide help.
“All employees receive special training because of this. We got an addition room. We are the first from the Premier League. It is for supporters who might struggle to sit in the main stadium to begin with.”