1005 - a historic weekend in Poland
CAFE is delighted to report a new record number of disabled fans attending a live football match last weekend, as Slask Wroclaw faced Lechia Gdansk in Poland. Over 1000 disabled fans were at the stadium, which absolutely smashed the previous record.
Wroclaw is the home of Poland’s biggest disabled supporters association, Klub Kibicow Niepelnosprawnych (KKN). They have been active since 2008 and have organised over 100 trips for disabled fans to watch live sport at away matches. They regularly have around 200 disabled fans attending matches, and in 2011 we reported that 230 disabled fans attended Slask Wroclaw’s match against Wisla Krakow. This set a then-record in Polish stadiums.
The match took place under the umbrella of the CAFE Week of Action – Total Football, Total Access – and is a huge achievement for all involved. A total of 1005 disabled fans played their part in making history.
The day was also a celebration of disabled fans. A statement of support was read by Slask Wroclaw captain Mariusz Pawelek before the match and this was televised. The match was also kicked off by young disabled fan Dawid Czechowski.
CAFE Managing Director, Joyce Cook OBE, said, “This is a remarkable achievement and we send a huge congratulations to KKN, Slask Wroclaw and all of the disabled fans who attended the match. I look back on when we first began to work in Poland, and I was told that you could count the number of disabled people attending live football in the country on your hands. We have all come so far, and football is changing the lives of disabled people in Poland”.
KKN President, Pawel Parus, said, "Many people helped us to reach this goal. We did it and I am proud of us. I am proud of all disabled people, who on Saturday 18th April, went out from their homes and attended the friendship match between Slask Wroclaw and Lechia Gdansk”.
Michal Fitas, Vice-Director of KKN, added, “We are the first club in Europe who decided to take the challenge to beat 1000. I want to thank to Śląsk Wrocław and all the institutions which helped in the organisation of this event”.
To watch a video from the record-breaking match, please see below or visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFkede9L40c&feature=youtu.be.
CAFE continues to work closely with its key stakeholders, including disabled football fans, to ensure that all fans can enjoy an accessible and inclusive matchday experience.
CAFE would like to congratulate everyone involved again on this great achievement. The record is now 1005 – let’s get even more disabled fans attending live matches!
Photograph courtesy of KKN Śląsk Wrocław. YouTube video courtesy of Śląsk Wrocław.