To ensure a high standard of audio-descriptive commentary (ADC) across European football stadiums, CAFE has established our CAFE Audio-descriptive Commentary Network.

The Network comprises of expert audio-descriptive commentary trainers who have previously worked with CAFE to deliver ADC training.

The trainers have vast experience in both providing audio-descriptive commentary and training others, and will be delivering the CAFE Audio-descriptive Commentary Training Programme across Europe.

Ahead of launching the CAFE Audio-descriptive Commentary Training Programme, we spoke with some of the trainers who will be delivering the package.

“I hope that I can inspire dedicated trainees to work with disabled people, and guide them to achieving the best possible level of ADC in Europe”, said trainer Bjorn Nab. “Only then are all fans offered the best stadium experience”.

Bjorn is based in Germany, and has provided audio-descriptive commentary for a number of years. Bjorn has also been involved in the training of many of Germany’s audio-descriptive commentators, and has great experience in developing trainees into experts. Bjorn has co-founded his own consultancy organisation, and continues to provide ADC at Bayer Leverkusen.

“Every single person can benefit from ADC – not just partially sighted and blind fans”, added Bjorn. “More and more disabled and non-disabled fans are using ADC, as it gives all fans the opportunity to see, feel and enjoy the 90 minutes with all senses and emotions”.

He is joined in the CAFE Audio-descriptive Commentary Network by Alan March, a British audio-descriptive commentator who is now based in Bulgaria. Alan started his ADC career as a volunteer at clubs including Huddersfield Town and Nottingham Forest. Alan later became Wembley Stadium’s audio-descriptive commentator, and founded his own organisation, which has trained commentators at many different clubs. Alan and his colleagues have also provided ADC at a number of international events including the 2012 and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Speaking about the importance of audio-descriptive commentary, Alan said, “The advancement of technology and cultural acceptance means that as we enter 2018, a blind or partially sighted individual should have more choice than ever before in how her or she enjoys their favourite past time”.

Liubomyr Pokotylo is based in Kyiv, Ukraine, and was initially trained by CAFE to provide ADC at UEFA EURO 2012. Since then, Liubomyr has continued to provide the service at Kyiv’s NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium and also trains others in how to provide the service.

Liubomyr said, “I am convinced that my precise description of every tiny detail is the key to the perception and complete picture of the match. Thanks to ADC, more people will love and understand football and blind people will have more interesting events available to them”.

CAFE also trained audio-descriptive commentators to provide the service at every match during UEFA EURO 2016. Our project partners, Jean-Marc Streel of Belgium and Charly Simo of France, have also joined the CAFE Audio-descriptive Commentary Network.

Jean-Marc has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the media, and has a long-held passion for helping others to enjoy football – the beautiful game. He said, “Thanks to ADC, blind and partially sighted people can come to the stadium to feel the atmosphere, just like everyone else. They can live the game like the rest of the crowd”.

Charly works for HandiSport, a French federation working to promote access and inclusion through sport. Charly said, “The launch of the Network and the CAFE Audio-descriptive Commentary Programme is good news, and we are ready to make a great difference for disabled football fans”.

The CAFE Audio-descriptive Commentary Training Programme can be downloaded here in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian and Swedish.

The CAFE Audio-descriptive Commentary Programme is open to national associations, leagues, clubs and venues. If you are interested in learning more about the Network or implementing the expert training package, please email [email protected] or call +44 (0)208 065 5108.

A version of this article is also available in Russian, German and French.

Published 12/02/2018