Cardiff City being awarded the Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence award. Credit - Cardiff City FC

Bluebirds join select group of clubs rewarded for supporting disabled fans

Improvements have seen Cardiff City Stadium named as one of the best in the UK for people with disabilities

CARDIFF CITY has become the first team in Wales to receive the Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence award for its facilities for disabled people.

The Bluebirds are just the sixth club in the country to have been given the award. The others are Wembley Stadium, Etihad Stadium (Manchester City), The Emirates Stadium (Arsenal), Pride Park (Derby) and the AMEX Stadium (Brighton).

The award is presented to stadiums that demonstrate the highest access and inclusion standards in accommodating disabled supporters on match days.

To qualify, Cardiff City Stadium had to demonstrate that it met equality and access legislation and building regulations for accessible sports stadia.

The Bluebirds were first audited for the award in 2016 and were left with a series of recommendations to meet the standards of the award.

Since then, Cardiff City have installed a changing places facility, a sensory room, a quiet room and have started to provide hearing loops and audio descriptive commentary. The club have also introduced dedicated disability stewards and work with disability groups in the community.

The club has a Disabled Supporters Association, which aims to provide a voice on behalf of Bluebirds fans with a disability.

Martin Davis, who runs the DSA’s social media accounts, said: “We’re very proud of the facilities for disabled people at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“Officials at the club have worked hard and have listened to the requirements of our supporters.”

The DSA insists it will work with the club to further improve the experience for people with disabilities.

“Working hand in hand with the Cardiff City Disabled Supporters’ Association we have achieved a lot, but we will continue to strive to improve further,” said Martin.

Level Playing Field has recognised Cardiff City as an excellent example of a club making continued improvements to disabled fans’ facilities.

Ruth Hopkins, who undertook the audit, said: “There is a genuine appetite within the club to work with their disabled fans and the DSA is going from strength to strength with the club’s support.

“We are particularly impressed with the ‘can do’ culture throughout the club and, based on the findings of the access audit and in recognition of the work that has been done and continues to be done, the Level Playing Field board of trustees are delighted to award the Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence.”