From previous campaigns on leisure and grassroots sport, Trailblazers knew that young disabled people faced barriers in accessing spectator sports. In May 2016, Trailblazers launched their brand new investigation exploring the experiences of young disabled people when watching live sport.
At Trailblazers, we believe all young disabled people should have full and equal access to society, including recreational activities. Sport is important to many young disabled people. We are concerned that many sports venues are failing to make reasonable adjustments for disabled spectators. This means that a lot of young disabled people have an inferior experience of watching sport, compared with that of their non-disabled counterparts.
In 2016, we surveyed more than 100 young disabled people to find out their views on accessing spectator sports. Our Move the Goal Posts report found that sports venues were failing in their duty to disabled people.
Our report revealed:
- 85 percent agree that disabled people are at a substantial disadvantage over non-disabled people when booking tickets to sporting events
- More than half have had to sit in an unsheltered seating area at a sporting event
- More than half say attending events in groups is the most difficult part of accessing live sporting events.
I’m such a huge sports fan. Going to cricket, football and rugby is a big part of who I am. The whole day out is a great release and occasion. You just can’t beat the excitement of a good match. Sadly though, disabled people like me are at a huge disadvantage in enjoying the games we love.
I’m almost always split up from family and friends as there is only one space for a carer. Sport for me is all about the day out, being together, sharing the highs and lows. Ticketing too is awkward with a costly, understaffed helpline. Sometimes disabled sports fans like me are left feeling like an afterthought when we love sport as much as anyone else.
Trailblazers are calling for:
- sports venues, clubs, teams, and the government to work with disabled people like Trailblazers to ensure that future venue designs are accessible to disabled spectators.
- sports venues, clubs, teams and the government to create an access card to enable online ticket booking for disabled spectators, including carers, and a Freephone number to make booking tickets less stressful.
- sports venues, clubs, teams, and the government to ensure that all staff receive adequate disability equality training.
You can read the most recent report here. Trailblazers continues to campaign on improving access to spectator sports. If you are affected by these issues and would like to share your experiences or be a media ambassador, contact us here.