Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Seeing the whole game...

Back on December 3rd last year, I went to the Emirates Stadium for an event to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I decided to accept the invitation because I thought it would give me something interesting to write about but look how that turned out (it has took me over two months to post). One of the reasons I have not mentioned the day until now is because, quite frankly, it was all a bit Tottenham*. That is probably harsh of me because I am sure a lot of hard-work went into organizing the event but for the first hour or so, I thought to myself "why am I here wasting valuable blogging time?". I especially thought that when someone tried to play catch with me. Needless to say, my hand-eye co-ordination is awful so that was a disaster.

The day did improve though as Arsenal & England's Jordan Nobbs made an appearance (I should not have to say this in 2016 but she plays football at the top level and is better than quite a lot of men) which, being an Arsenal Ladies season ticket holder, I was particularly pleased with. There was then a Kick It Out workshop fronted by the first British Asian to captain a professional football team in England Anwar Uddin. Although I am not a Chelsea fan and do not need to be told that racism is wrong, I found the talk very interesting as Uddin's story was pretty unique. It is certainly more inspiring than any of this Jamie Vardy nonsense.

I have spoke before about how my sight (long distance) has deteriorated in recent years and that glasses do not seem to help the situation. It is not really an issue in day-to-day life but at football matches, the problem does become noticeable. Normally, in the first half, Arsenal shoot away from the North Bank where I sit and I struggle to see where the ball is. I only know if we have scored because of the crowd reaction. However, I had accepted that I would always miss about 50% of the matches and would have to keep getting my brother to talk me through the goals.

That was until the third session of the day run by Arsenal's Disability Liaison Officer Alun Francis and veteran broadcaster Clive Tyldesley who had managed to shake off Andy Townsend for the day. They spoke about audio description and how it is a very important service for supporters who cannot see as it means they can still enjoy the match. Although I am not fully blind, I still have a Visual Impairment that affects my enjoyment of the whole game. So, at the next home match, I was given a radio set and I have been using it ever since. It's a shame they do not have them at away grounds I visit although I think I would get annoyed by the bias.

*just to clarify for any of my readers who are not Arsenal fans that I have substituted a word that rhymes with 'hit' for 'Tottenham'.

Bye for now!

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