About us CAFE team Ambassadors Omar Mascarell, Elche CFFebruary 2021 Born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the Canary Islands of Spain, Mascarell played for local side CD Laguna de Tenerife until the age of 17. He joined Real Madrid’s youth system in 2010, making his senior debut in 2013. In 2018, Mascarell signed for Schalke 04 in a deal reported to be worth around €10 million. He quickly became a key player for Schalke, and captained the side in 2020. Played predominantly as a defensive midfielder, he has amassed over 50 Bundesliga appearances for Schalke. In August 2021, Mascarell returned to Spain joining La Liga side Elche CF. Passionate about inclusion in football, Mascarell shares CAFE’s vision of a game that is accessible for all and was delighted to become a CAFE Ambassador. Bobby Allain, SK OrebroJune 2021 Bobby Allain became CAFE's second Ambassador in June 2021 and shares in our passion for equal access and the inclusion of disabled fans across football, empowering them to take their place at the heart of live sport. Born in France to a French father and a Scottish mother who were both born deaf, Allain is fluent in sign language and is involved with the French National Deaf Team as a coach. Allain’s playing career has already seen him travel across Europe, turning out for Dijon FC in the French Ligue 1 and Olympiacos in Greece where he won the Super League and national cup in the 2019/20 season. It was also during his time with Olympiacos that Allain played in the UEFA Europa League, reaching the Round of 16 knockout phase. The 29-year-old joined Orebro SK in December 2020 who play in Sweden’s top division, Allsvenskan. Speaking about joining CAFE, Allain said: “I am delighted to become CAFE’s new Ambassador. Their work is crucial in ensuring that disabled people can enjoy live sport alongside their fellow fans, and I hope to be able to support them in our shared goal of total access”. “Equal treatment and access to football is something I feel very strongly about. Having been involved with the French Deaf National Team in the past, I was excited to be able to help CAFE raise awareness across Europe.” Laura Gutierrez, UD Levante FundacionSeptember 2021 After retiring from professional football in 2020, Gutierrez began work with the Levante UD community foundation and currently leads on the social enterprise’s inclusion projects for disabled participants. Passionate about access and inclusion in football, Gutierrez believes in CAFE’s mission of improving accessible facilities and services for disabled fans, and their ultimate goal of #TotalAccess. As a CAFE Ambassador she hopes to raise awareness and empower disabled fans of both men and women’s football across Europe. Born in 1994, Gutierrez began her football career with FC Barcelona’s first team at the age of 15 and went on to win two league titles and two Copas de la Reina with the Catalan team she grew up supporting. At 19 Gutierrez signed for Levante where she played for seven seasons, making 178 first team appearances and scoring seven goals. The midfielder also represented Spain at international level. Pilar Castillo, DAO Ambassador, Real Betis BalompiéDecember 2021 Disability Access Officer (DAO) for Real Betis Balompié since 2016, Castillo became one of two CAFE DAO Ambassadors in December 2021, with the announcement made at the 4th International CAFE Conference. Castillo's role consists on offering support and advice to disabled fans, primarily on matchdays but also regarding all other events organised or supported by the club. As DAO, Castillo works with the Club to identify improvements in the area of accessibility inside and outside the stadium. Speaking on her position, Castillo commented: "For me one of the most important traits to exercise the role of the DAOs is to be be empathetic and to have good listening skills. In the last years, I have learned a lot from the fans who attend games, as well as the expert NGOs and associations that help to the club. Joanne O'Riordan, Disabled Fan AmbassadorDecember 2021 Born in April 1996 with a rare disability known as Total Amelia, it did not take long for Joanne O’Riordan to become a prominent campaigner for disability rights, when, at the age of 15, she had openly challenged the Irish government on a cut they were going to make in their budget to disability payments. The intended cut was reversed, and O’Riordan discovered her passion for activism. O’Riordan then went on to speak at the Girls in ICT Unit at the United Nations in New York in 2012 and was honoured with a Young Person of the Year Award later that year, aged only 16. Three years later, Joanne was presented with a JCI Top Outstanding Young Person of the World Award. Appearing in her brother’s award-winning documentary, No Limbs No Limits (2014), Joanne’s story has captured audiences around the globe and has been viewed by over 15 million people worldwide. O’Riordan is a recent graduate of Criminology in UCC under a Quercus Active Citizen scholarship and aspires to become a sports journalist, working regularly with The Irish Times and other publications on women in sport; disability and sport; racial issues in sport; and, of course, her beloved FC Barcelona. Sharing in CAFE’s passion for access and inclusion in football, O’Riordan was delighted to join CAFE as the first Disabled Fan Ambassador.