Each matchday, Welford Road welcomes fans from all backgrounds and communities to cheer on Tigers and the club’s next home game against Worcester Warriors will see the first ‘Celebrate Inclusion Day’.
The matchday will see the club launch its Sunflower Lanyard Scheme, work with a number of organisations to help raise awareness of different disabilities as well as introduce the club’s fully trained Inclusive and Accessibility Stewards and staff.
In the build-up to the game, the club spoke with long-time Tigers’ fan Eddy Crowe, who as well as being a regular in The Breedon Stand, also lives with cerebral palsy – a diagnosis he has had since he was three.
“It affects all four of my limbs and particularly affects my walking and speech”, Eddy explained. “It has made life difficult both in terms of my education and work, and a lot of people can struggle to understand me.
As members of the Supporters’ Forum, Eddy and his dad Peter have been influential in helping shape the club’s new outlook on accessibility and recently attended the club’s first accessibility forum last month.
“I’ve been a season ticket holder for 16 years and I first came down with my dad as a way of spending more time together with Mum’s encouragement.
“Because of my difficulty with walking, negotiating crowds can be tricky and sometimes I may stumble or bump into people, but of course, I don’t mean it. I just need a little extra time to get around the crowd.”
Working with the club, Eddy will act as an ambassador for supporters helping to promote the awareness of fans with hidden and physical disabilities at Welford Road. The club recently caught up with Tigers-own Harry Wells to hear his families experiences of living with autism.
“I have met a lot of friends through Tigers and was been involved with starting the Leicester Tigers Fan Facebook Group with my friend Shaun Gibson. I have also got to know some of the players and find them all very friendly.
“The key to this is awareness and if you have a disability, sometimes you need people, stewards and staff to be considerate and appreciate you may need a little more time or information.”
Peter also added: “As a parent, things such as parking is different at grounds around the UK and so if you can find out travel information beforehand, that helps you to prepare your journey to and from the stadium.”
Eddy’s advice for supporters with accessible requirement, “Find out as much as you can beforehand. The club have produced an information pack for fans, including travel, facility access and stadium maps to help fans, which will be available in the build-up to matchday.
“Or I you have a question, don’t hesitate to ring the club or ask stewards on the day.”
Further details will be announced in the build-up to Celebrate Inclusion Day including the introduction of the club’s Inclusive and Accessibility Stewards and key people involved to help fans on matchdays.
If supporters would like to find out more information, or would like to highlight any specific requirements or questions, please email [email protected] or call the Leicester Tigers ticket office on 0116 319 8888 (option 2).