Bray unveil ‘Access Is For All’ initiative ahead of home opener

This Friday night Bray Wanderers will play their first home league game of the season, when they take on fellow relegated side Limerick FC at the Carlisle Grounds.

After an opening night victory against Cabinteely, where they won 3-0 thanks to a double-strike from new signing Dylan McGlade, the Seagulls will head into that game full of confidence.

Ahead of the game the club today unveiled their “Access Is For All” inclusion Programme – overseen by the FAI in conjunction with the Center for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE).

The programme is aimed at supporting disabled people, who form the largest minority group in society; there are over 1 billion disabled people – or more than 15% of the global population. One in four Europeans has a disabled family member, while 60% know someone with a disability.

Every League of Ireland club nominated an official to attend a training course to become a Disability Access Officer (DAO). The aim of this official’s new role is to assist patrons with additional needs, to more easily attend League of Ireland games throughout the country.

The club have today appointed it first DAO, in Padraic Moran. Padraic is a long-time supporter of the club, a two-time Paralympian and a former Boccia World Champion.

The club website will have a dedicated Accessibility Page; a free season ticket will be offered to any supporter with additional needs. There will also be an enclosed viewing area (with blankets, if required); plus nearby accessible parking, dedicated entrance on match night, and accessible toilets etc.

Speaking at today’s launch newly appointed Moran said, “I am thrilled to be linking with the club in this way. I understand more than most, the access issues in attending League of Ireland games. My role is to make the Carlisle Ground all-inclusive, where there will be no barriers to any disabled person wishing to attend and enjoy the matches.”

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney was in attendance and he said, “The Football Association of Ireland are delighted to support this initiative with Bray Wanderers. The club are doing fantastic work in Bray and the surrounding area ever since Niall O’Driscoll got involved and he deserves tremendous credit for that.”

“The FAI believes that football should be enjoyed by everyone and this initiative delivers exactly that, in line with our own Football For All programme which continues to grow around the country and make a significant impact in local communities.”

Carlisle Grounds in Bray

The clubs chairman Niall O’Driscoll added, “No Person in the County should be deprived of being part of our journey here in Bray and we fully support CAFE aims to help UEFA to deliver increasingly accessible matches; to promote the employment of disabled people at all levels of football and increase disability awareness – using the unique power of football. We strongly support their aim of creating local and national disabled supporters groups across Europe. This will empower disabled people to take their rightful place in the world of football – be it as spectators, volunteers, players, coaches, administrators, leaders or decision-makers.”

“And with Padraic Moran now on board, we’ve certainly picked the right man to spearhead the project for our club. His unique background, energy and enthusiasm will ensure Bray Wanderers will be in the forefront of this extremely welcome development in Irish club football and more importantly to everyone who visits us here in the Carlisle,” continued O’Driscoll.

Bray are calling on all football supporters in Wicklow and the surrounding areas to come to the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night and get behind the manager Gary Cronin and his players as they push for promotion back to the Premier Division.

Picture Credit: Bray Wanderers FC

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