In my family, everybody supports Lechia Gdansk. Ever since I started to watch them in 2007, I have fallen in love with this club and I go to watch them every time they play.
My other love is Real Madrid, and whenever Lechia are not playing I try to go and watch them instead. I missed the last ‘Clasico’ match against Barcelona, but it was a great night for the club.
Quite simply, I just love football. I am 14 years old, and I have already won two successive tournaments in Poland based around how much you know about the UEFA European Championships, including statistics such as goalscorers, red and yellow cards and even the weight of the trophy. I also gave lectures called “Football Is My Passion” at the Academy of Physical Education and the Technical University of Gdansk, and have been invited to Poznan to give a talk.
UEFA EURO 2012 coming to this region was very exciting, and some matches will be played at Lechia’s new home stadium – the PGE Arena. A lot of my fellow disabled supporters are very happy with the new stadium, but honestly it does not impress me. Having seen some of the stadiums in Western Europe, I can compare and it is clear that there is still a lot of work to be done for us to catch up.
When we first moved to the new stadium, wheelchair users could not see the match because the guard rails were so high. This has now been fixed, but there is still heavy manual doors in place, kerbs at some entrances and high counters at bars and food kiosks.
There are also a lot of advantages of the new stadium. The accessible toilets are very well designed, and the stadium staff are very eager to help. It is so important that we continue to look for other ways to improve – we will get there.
My mum, Sylwia, wants to be able to bring disabled Lechia supporters together to work for better accessibility at the stadium. There are currently only six disabled Lechia supporters that attend every single match, but there are plenty more out there and forming a disabled supporters association would help all of us. We want to help to make the stadium as accessible and welcoming as it can be, for this would benefit everybody.
“Quite Simply, I Just Love Football”
Dawid Zapisek- Poland, May 2012