Last Saturday saw Doncaster Rovers supporting Level Playing Field’s Week of Action.Level Playing Field are focussed on removing barriers in all sports and its main aims are:
· Ensuring all fans can enjoy an equal experience at live sports events.
· Ensuring that all stadia and sports venues are fully accessible and inclusive.
· Ensuring all customer and/or fan services are equal and inclusive.
· Disabled people are seen as customers with a commercial value.
As part of our Week of Action, XP School based just a few hundred metres from the Keepmoat Stadium, took part in a range of activities including offering the students the experience of attending a Doncaster Rovers match as a partially sighted/blind person.
Before Rovers took on Wigan last Saturday, the children took part in a game of blind football on the Club Doncaster Academy pitches, as well as being invited onto the pitch at half time to take part in a ‘blind’ penalty shoot out against Donny Dog at half time.
As part of their experience they also spent the Rovers match listening to commentary through the Soccer Sight system whilst blindfolded.
Doncaster Rovers will continue to support Level Playing Fields in striving to make football and sport in Doncaster accessible to everyone and we thank XP School for their help in highlighting Level Playing Fields efforts at the game.
Below are some of the comments made by the students on their experience:
Ethan Booth Year 8
I really enjoyed the experience and thought it was great first time doing something like that. It was unnerving at first because it blocks the senses that you are used to, but then it was amazing to see how it effects it when you have someone guiding you whilst playing football with a special ball. The difficulties that visually impaired people face are being able to know where the ball is and knowing the outcome of the game.
Listening to the commentary of the game was very different. The headphones gave a view on the game which is dependant on the commentators. With our blindfolds on we obviously couldn’t see the game and it gave a completely different view on how the game is played, yet you can still enjoy the sport. When anyone went close to scoring the commentary was very enthusiastic and wasn't dull at any point. It gave an ecstatic view on the game. I think it could help people enjoy the game.
I would like to thank you on behalf of XP for a great day and also it was a great first football game for me.
Aimee Herriot Year 7
I enjoyed the first bit when we were taking blind penalties. At first it was really hard because I wasn’t used to not being able to see the ball. It was really hard to play football blind because you couldn’t notice where the ball was because you couldn’t hear the bell. It’s also hard not knowing who has the ball and where the ball is going to go next.
To be a supporter and also wear the blindfold was different. To be a supporter at the game but to wear the blindfold was very hard. It’s completely different watching the game as a blind person, the headphones didn’t help you to enjoy the atmosphere and learn what was happening.
On behalf of XP, I would like to say to the people and coaches at Doncaster Rovers who organised the day for me, thank you for doing this because it was fun and i’m very happy that doncaster rovers won 3-1 against Wigan.
To view a full gallery of the day please visit our Facebook page by clicking here