Poland: Disabled fans set new record

source: StadiumDB.com

Poland: Disabled fans set new record They've been doing amazing things for years now, opening eyes of those who didn't see disabled football fans as an important group. This weekend in Wrocław almost one out of eight fans was a disabled person!

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While international regulations are changing in order to accommodate visitors with wide array of disabilities, at most games disabled fans still constitute less than 1% of the entire turnout.

And then you go to Wrocław, where week after week there are over 200 disabled supporters and there's no away game without their presence. In fact, while the entire occupancy of Stadion Wrocław is low, wheelchair positions and seats dedicated to disabled fans are almost always packed, on occasions there aren't enough.

Such success is the outcome of years of grassroots organising by the Disabled Supporters Club (Klub Kibiców Niepełnosprawnych). With great help from municipal and regional authorities, disabled fans of Śląsk Wrocław became a model, now being copied across the country.

Stadion Wrocław

Last weekend, during a nationwide stadium accessibility programme, they went a step further and decided to gather as many disabled people inside Stadion Wrocław as possible. Numerous foundations, schools and associations were invited to join and enjoy the afternoon game of Śląsk.

As a result, 1,074 fans with disabilities came to the stadium, which meant they constituted 12.6% (!) of the entire crowd. Yes, almost one in eight spectators were disabled. This, though unofficially, is the global matchday record for disabled fans' participation. The previous one, set 3 years ago at this very same stadium, was 1,005.

Whether recognised internationally or not, the action is considered a great success and display of how well the community is organised. With great support from authorities and NGO's, Wrocław managed to achieve outstanding elicitation of disabled citizens. The record-breaking number was dedicated to disabled families occupying the Polish parliament and demanding adequate support from the state.

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