Disabled Supporters Club in Association with BairnsTrust

Reports from Away Grounds

Dundee v Falkirk Saturday 28th August 2010

Having undergone knee surgery the day prior to the match, I had pre-prepared during the week by contacting Dundee Football Club ahead of Falkirk’s visit.

Acting as a “mystery shopper” and as a temporary disabled supporter, this would act as a test case for the new Falkirk FC Disabled Supporters group set up recently under the auspices of both BairnsTrust and the long established Centre for Access to Football in Europe (Café.)

An email was sent to Dundee FC on Mon 23/08/10 to Secretary Laura Hayes, duly forwarded onto and replied by Harry MacLean in the Commercial Department, seeking general information on the accessibility, facilities and pricing for a supporter who would have difficulty in climbing the steps of the Away Shankly Stand.

With a phone call at 11.15am on the morning of the game to clarify matters, Neil Cosgrove from the ticket office advised that £10 for 2 tickets at Main Reception would be available on arrival. The carer being admitted free of charge.

This was a matter for debate at the inaugural Falkirk FC Disabled Supporters Club; that disabled supporters do not expect to be given free entrance to any matches, preferring to be treated as equal and that an acceptable price is paid.

However, it is also generally hoped for by Cafe that this cost be ring-fenced by the home club and the sums raised to be used solely to maintain or improve the facilities for disabled viewers and their carers at the respective ground.

Gingerly I set off from Falkirk aboard the Falkirk Supporters Association bus to Dens Park.

Despite the steep gradient of Tannadice Street from the visiting bus park, only a slight incline is noted thereafter up to the turnstiles, before one level on entrance through to a choice of two elevated viewing platforms, with no steps to negotiate and plenty of space for wheelchairs and seating for carers. A designated disabled toilet was only feet away, although this was initially locked and catering kiosks on same level were only yards away.

The layout was perfect to meet the needs of a travelling support and indeed was full to capacity in the sold out section.

The conclusion was that Dundee FC offer excellent facilities for disabled users in a modern stadium stand with all challenges met and provided for.

The visit was made all the smoother by the assistance during the week of Laura, Harry and Neil.

Thanks to all

Report compiled by (Name and Address supplied)

 

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