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16th Mar 2021

Spurs stars learn sign language as part of Level Playing Field campaign

Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks take part in Q&As with members of Tottenham's disabled fan club, as part of Level Playing Field's Weeks of Action campaign

Reuben Pinder

“The facilities are vital to enable fans with disabilities and impairments to enjoy live matches.”

For most of us, attending football matches is the greatest form of escapism. That is why matches in empty stadiums often feel hollow and pointless, and why both players and fans are desperate to have packed out stadiums again once it is safe to do so.

But for many others, attending football matches is not always a joyous experience. Access for disabled fans is often below the necessary standard and a lot of fans can feel excluded by their own clubs, who do not cater to their needs.

In a bid to raise awareness of these issues and make their own match-day experience as welcoming as possible for members of their Official Disabled Supporters’ Association, Tottenham have teamed up with Level Playing Field for their Weeks fo Action campaign.

Tottenham duo Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko appeared in live Q&As via video link with disabled Spurs fans to raise awareness of Level Playing Field, the charity dedicated to improving access for disabled sports fans and the wider community.

Tottenham say the main aim is to “drive an improved matchday experience to encourage more disabled fans to watch the ‘beautiful game’.”

On the call the midfield pair learned how to communicate some footballing phrases in sign language.

After speaking to SpursAbility members Dee and Owen, Winks said: “Level Playing Field is a fantastic charity, and it was great to find out about their Weeks of Action campaign. Dee and Owen provided a real insight into what match-days are like for disabled fans and it was fun to learn some sign language with them – they are excellent teachers.”

As well as ensuring the stadium provides the access needed for physically disabled fans, there is also a sensory suite in the stadium’s North Stand, which offers a comfortable and calming environment for supporters on the autistic spectrum or with sensory impairments.