The 16th annual Level Playing Field Weeks of Action are underway with clubs, disabled supporters associations and fans joining together to celebrate access, inclusion and the matchday experience for disabled fans across all sports such as football, rugby, cricket and many more.
The Hornets are delighted to take the chance to shine a light on the most recent addition to our accessible provision. The club has recently purchased a transit wheelchair with pneumatic wheels, which is ideal for use by supporters across the stadium. The wheelchair made its debut at the match against Liverpool, when Molly Hall used it during her mascot experience.
The club’s groundsman, Scott Tingley, did some research on the best options for use by wheelchair users. "I’ll admit I took some convincing," said Tingley. "My main worry was the wheels getting stuck in the grass and Molly falling out, so I spoke to counterparts across football and we were able to find the perfect chair. It was great to see Molly enjoy her day and it’s good to know we have this option moving forward."
"It’s great to remove another barrier and enable us to further promote a culture of accessibility here at Vicarage Road," added Dave Messenger, the club’s Supporter Liaison & Disability Access Officer. "Scott’s research was pivotal and to know that we can enable our young wheelchair users to be mascots whenever we like is definitely something to celebrate."
Level Playing Field’s Chief Executive, Owain Davies, was delighted to see Watford become the latest club to have a wheelchair user as mascot. "Leading the team out as a mascot is the pinnacle of supporting your team as a child, which many wheelchair users never experience," said Davies. "We’re thrilled to see another club do this, especially during Weeks of Action and we hope Molly’s story becomes a catalyst for other teams and sports to clock onto the opportunity."
You can get involved in the Weeks of Action campaign by posting your messages of support on Twitter (@lpftweets), Facebook (@lpftweets) or Instagram (@levelplayingfielduk) using the hashtag #WeeksOfAction
Click HERE for more information on Weeks of Action, and HERE for more information on the club’s accessible provision.
For more details about becoming a matchday mascot at a future home game, click HERE.