This week, CAFE Managing Director Joyce Cook travelled to Romania to address the Gala of Disabled People in Bucharest.

The event was hosted by ActiveWatch, a disability NGO that have worked with CAFE since Bucharest hosted this year’s UEFA Europa League final back in May. CAFE’s participation in the Gala was a continuation of our work arising out of the final and our on-going presence in Romania.

As part of the event, Joyce introduced the audience to CAFE and the work that we do across all of Europe. Joyce took part in a Q&A session, explaining why good access to stadiums and arenas is so important and with special reference to the National Stadium in Bucharest which hosted the UEFA Europa League Final 2012. This event saw the largest gathering of disabled people at a public event ever in Romania. The Gala was ultimately a celebration of disabled people in Romania, and acts as diverse as violinists, pianists and rappers took to the stage. A number of awards were also presented to those who had excelled in inclusion and social responsibility. The gala will be televised on Romanian national television this weekend to promote International Day of Disabled People.

ActiveWatch PR Coordinator Teodora Zabava said, “The Gala of Disabled People is an annual event which promotes social inclusion. This years’ edition took place under the motto “Accessible Freedom” because we believe that each and every disabled person has an extraordinary potential that can only be reached in an accessible physical space. We were very pleased to have Joyce Cook, Managing Director of CAFE, amongst our guests. As football is a very popular sport in Romania, we believe that the time has come to make it accessible for all. We appreciate the efforts that CAFE has made in making the beautiful game accessible in Poland and Ukraine during the European Championship and we are committed to replicating this best practice model in Romania also”.

Joyce Cook added “We were delighted to attend the gala in celebration of the International Day of Disabled People. I can remember the news stories that were broadcast around the world showing disabled people living in poor facilities and it was amazing to see the incredible progress that has been made and to witness the inspirational works and projects now underway. We are pleased to add our support through the medium of football. The Europa Final showed what can be achieved with disabled people enjoying live football and very visible in the cultural society.”

UEFA and CAFE were also pleased to announce that the new UEFA and CAFE Good Practice Guide – Access for All - will be translated to Romanian.

Published 30/11/2012