Tuesday, March 12, 2013
When Exeter City beat visiting team Northampton Town by a 3-0 scoreline recently, few of the 414 visiting Cobblers travelled back to the East Midlands particularly pleased, writes Richard Dorman.
So the Grecians were delighted to receive an email Rowland Jordan on Monday afternoon, a disabled Northampton Town supporter, who was delighted with the matchday experience from the perspective of a wheelchair user – though the match result was notable by its absence! Fittingly, it coincided with the club’s annual bucket collection to go towards improving the disabled facilities around the stadium.
Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association (ECDSA) have been working hard since they were formed in 2007 to improve the experience around St James Park for disabled fans – both of Exeter City and the visiting clubs.
So it was naturally very pleasing that the positive work that ECDSA do was recognised by the visiting fans. Gerald Gibson was recently appointed as the club’s first Disability Steward, in order to help train the other stewards in the needs of disabled fans and to help the club deliver on its pledge to continue working towards improving the all-round level of care and support.
“As a wheelchair-bound supporter of Northampton Town, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for making both mine and my carer’s day a happy one,” wrote Rowland.
“We found the reception staff most helpful in picking up our reserved tickets, and many thanks to the lady involved in supplying replacement ones when the originals tickets failed to arrive in time.
“Once in the ground, we were met by a designated steward who was very explanatory and made us feel at home. The viewing area in the main stand was well-positioned; it just made us feel so good for the whole day. In fact the courtesy shown by all the stewards we encountered was brilliant.
“Well done, you have a set up to be proud of, keep it up.”
Incidentally, the Northampton Town fixture happened to be Exeter City’s designated game to fundraise for the ECDSA. At every home game, the club run a bucket collection for charities and other worthwhile causes and City fans consistently show their generous nature.
A total of £340 was raised for the ECDSA, which will be put towards buying new sets of waterproofs for wheelchair users using Area 5 in the Big Bank – presently there is no protection from the rain in this area. Last season, the funds raised in the matchday collection helped them to buy two evacuations chairs for the Park building, in order to improve safety for disabled fans in the case of emergency.
For more information about the ECDSA, contact Nick Saunders by ringing 01392 411 243 or by emailing email@example.com