Rugby League on a Level Playing Field
The RFL are delighted to announce a ground breaking new initiative which will see Rugby League become the first sport to conduct full access auditing at all stadiums with a view to improving the quality of facilities available to disabled and also non-disabled spectators.
The initiative by the RFL Facilities Trust in partnership with Level Playing Field (LPF), the national charity representing disabled sports fans, marks the start of a long term commitment by Rugby League to improve facilities and spectator experience.
The LPF audit is conducted by accredited NRAC access auditors specialising in the accessibility of stadia and the quality of spectator facilities in the professional game.
“As a sport we value our disabled supporters and we are working hard to ensure that disabled supporters have the best possible match day experience,” said RFL Director of Participation David Gent.
“We have implemented this scheme to ensure our sport is truly accessible to all disabled supporters and their carers, family and friends. We believe this is an important step in the process of improving our facilities and we look forward to overcoming any problems identified in the auditing process which will benefit all other fans as well.”
Level Playing Field Chair, Joyce Cook, OBE said “We are delighted to be working with RFL on this important piece of work and applaud their commitment to ensuring a more inclusive welcome for all Rugby League fans.
There can be no better time to launch this great initiative than now following the success of the Paralympics and with an amazing upsurge in public interest and support for disabled people and sports. We hope that this ground-breaking lead taken by RFL will inspire other sports bodies to look at their own good governance practices in this area and to follow suit.
A huge thank you to RFL for setting the standard with a plan for lasting and meaningful change that puts disabled fans and an accessible match day experience at the heart of everything that they do”.
The LPF auditing will take place across all stadiums associated within the professional game in both the Stobart Super League and Co-operative Championships, with the Facilities Trust funding the move within the Championships. Completion of an access audit within Super League will become a feature of the competition’s licencing system.
Aligned to this, a new disability guidance document is currently being developed and produced by the RFL and Level Playing Field to assist clubs in becoming more disability friendly and will be an additional resource to support the current education and training provided.