Grimsby Town’s fixture with Newport County at Blundell Park tonight (7.45pm) is designated to the work of Level Playing Field.
Level Playing Field promotes a positive and inclusive experience for disabled sports fans.
The key objective of the organisation is to raise awareness of good access and inclusion and how it benefits disabled fans and the wider community.
Grimsby Town Football Club, along with Education Trust and the Mariners Trust, hold several activities through the weeks to promote community cohesion.
Level Playing Field is a registered charity in England and Wales, but dedicates its work to disabled sports fans and acts as a campaigning and advisory organisation to its members across the sporting industry.
Grimsby Town Football Club is fully supportive of the organisation and have been working extremely hard to ensure that all of our disabled fans have a good experience when coming to Blundell Park.
Blundell Park has seen major improvements around the ground this season to ensure that a positive match day experience is shared amongst our disabled fans – the ground has seen new seating within the Osmond Stand and Main Stand, with the accommodation increasing to 40 disabled fans along with new toilet facilities and ramps to ensure that accessibility in and around the ground is suitable.
Adie Merrikin, Town’s equality, diversity, and disability officer, said: “We have worked extremely hard behind-the-scenes this year, we have ensured that all parts of the football club are working together to stride towards a better understanding of our community. We are fully aware of the importance of the football club in our community and staff work tirelessly around the clock to provide the best possible service.
“The improvements have really made a difference to fans who have disadvantages and we are delighted that more and more disabled fans are now attending our fixtures on a regular basis, furthermore, the work planned over the next six months will see great improvements for all our fans that attend Blundell Park.
“The football club will also be holding a staff training event before the game on Saturday in which staff will undertake British sign language introduction training to enable staff to understand the barriers faced amongst our fans and be in the best possible position to overcome these barriers to support the needs of individuals and groups.
“Within my role at the football club it is important that education plays a huge role in ensuring positive changes. The staff from all departments at the football club undertake specific training upon equality, diversity, and inclusion.
“With The EFL’s designated charity ‘Mind,’ we have delivered mental health awareness training in-house and in educational establishments, along with Dementia Friends’ workshops and the introduction to BSL (British sign language).
“We have really pushed on in all aspects of inclusion to benefit our loyal and dedicated fans who travel home and away.”
Tonight’s game will see the Town players wearing the Level Playing Field warm-up t-shirts.