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READ | Millers dedicate Southend United fixture to supporting the work of Level Playing Field

12 March 2020

Rotherham United are delighted to be pledging their support to Level Playing Field, a charity who aim to ensure that every supporter can enjoy the beautiful game. Here at AESSEAL New York Stadium, we are committed to making the matchday experience a positive one for those who attend.

The power of attending live sporting events is unprecedented and it is our goal to make watching the Millers as accessible as possible, and during Level Playing Field’s #WeeksOfAction, fans, clubs, Disabled Supporters Associations and other partners will come together to showcase the impact watching sport can have on people.

Of course, Rotherham United’s Disabled Supporters Association (RUDSA) are a group who are highly valued, and through the support of the football club and the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust (RUCST), they are continuing to establish themselves within the local community across South Yorkshire.

The RUDSA aims to ensure that disabled supporters enjoy the best matchday experience possible at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, through continued dialogue with Rotherham United. The group also aims to provide opportunities for our disabled fans to meet socially, and are planning to hold at least four meetings annually.

Through the fundraising work which has been completed by the RUDSA, we are pleased to announce that the group have donated 10 sensory bags to be used by Millers supporters at the matches here at the AESSEAL New York Stadium. The packs contact a pair of ear defenders, a colouring book, some crayons and a sensory toy.

The packs are available to reserve on a match day by contacting dlo@rotherhamunited.net in advance to secure your pack. There will be a small refundable deposit payable for the pack which will be collected from the main reception on the matchday. If you want any further information about the group then please pop and see them next to the Fan Zone outside the stadium.

This ties in nicely with our community partner Sense who will be forming a guard of honour to welcome the players out onto the pitch against Southend United on Saturday afternoon, and SocialEyes will also be on hand to celebrate winning the Ability Counts league, so you will see them parading around the AESSEAL New York Stadium at half-time.

Furthermore, RUCST run an Ability Counts programme which aims to get local youngsters and adults who have disability impairments involved in playing football, and they currently have four teams who play monthly fixtures against teams in the Yorkshire region as well as entering into tournaments throughout the year.

One man who plays a key role in delivering the Ability Counts sessions is Joseph Clark, one of the coaches who helps support those who take part in the sport. As a man who has Cerebral Palsy himself, he is an inspiration to many, a positive role model and a great ambassador for RUCST.

Joseph Clark.jpg

Joseph also goes into schools around the local area to get the message across that sport is for everybody, and he is also a regular on first team matchdays, assisting with community initiatives such as the recent Community Takeover Day.

In addition to that, he is also a keen swimmer too, and he was named as Swimmer/Athlete of the Year 2019 at a recent ceremony. Upon receiving the accolade, he was personally congratulated by Rotherham United’s Chief Operating Officer Paul Douglas, and Performance Manager Ross Burbeary also passed on his congratulations after helping him with his nutrition and training regime.

Rotherham United are incredibly grateful to all of those who dedicate their effort to ensuring that football really is a level playing field, and we are proud of the facilities we have for supporters who have a disability or impairment.

We hope that everyone in attendance this weekend has a great experience at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, and we are always open to feedback from supporters.

If you would like to know how you can join RUDSA or support the work that RUCST do, please visit www.rucst.co.uk.


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