One of Scotland’s largest football teams, Celtic Football Club (CFC) is celebrating inclusivity after being presented with a special Collaboration Award.
After working hard to improve the experience of football for disabled supporters, and promoting football accessibility for everyone, the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) presented the Celtic Disabled Supporters Association and CFC the award.
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell told the CFC website: “We are delighted to accept this prestigious award from CAFE which demonstrates our real commitment to promoting access for all in football. Celtic is for everyone and we have worked hard to ensure that we understand the different needs of our supporters who face various forms of disability.
“We dedicate this award to all our disabled supporters who give such commitment to the club and we can assure these fans that we will continue to work with them to deliver a positive and welcoming experience for all at Celtic Park.”
The team has also become the first football stadium in Scotland to install Changing Places toilets.
Calls for Changing Places have mounted in recent years to allow people living with mild to moderate physical disabilities, spinal injuries, or learning disabilities, to use toilets safely and comfortably. The toilets will have space for two carers, come facilitated with a hoist, height-adjustable bed, space for a wheelchair and additional equipment.
Introduction of the Changing Places toilets, and the recent award, is a significant step forward for disabled football fans.
Celtic Park has become the first football stadium in Scotland to install a 'Changing Places' facility for disabled fans, the latest initiative promoting access for all at #CelticFC. 🍀
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) November 19, 2018
Recently, more than 50,000 signed a petition urging the UK Government to make it mandatory for Changing Places toilets to be installed in public places. It is hoped more football clubs will now follow the same path as Celtic.
Alexis Dobbin, disability access officer at CFC added: “Many disabled people are unable to use standard accessible toilets so the addition of the Changing Places facility will have a huge impact on the matchday experience of our disabled supporters.
“Celtic is a club for all and we are committed to working alongside supporters with disabilities, sensory impairment or learning difficulties to ensure that the club meets their needs as supporters.
“We hope the addition of the Changing Places toilet will allow more of our disabled supporters the chance to visit the stadium and cheer on the team on match days.”