Page 13 - The Twelfth Man - Issue 1
P. 13

Issue 1
   In view of all the above getting to the stadium was a piece of cake!
At the Stadium
Once we arrived at the stadium, we found that it was a lot easier to navigate than what we had encountered previously at the Champions League final.
In June the landscape around the stadium was still being developed which made getting around in a wheelchair extremely difficult, thankfully on our return for this fixture the work had been completed and it was completely wheelchair friendly and fully accessible.
We then made our way around the stadium to our designated gate were we were greeted by Yonit and our stewards at the entrance to gate 27 and were asked if everything was ok and they then directed to our entrance gate.
Entry to the stadium was very easy
and the Atletico stewards were very welcoming and pleasant in their attitude towards us which is not always
the case on European away trips.
We then made our way to our viewing platform which was section 218 and
in terms of accessibility this is one of
the best stadiums in terms of being wheelchair friendly. The ramp was easy to navigate and the viewing platform was very spacious for both wheelchair user and their PA’s.
There was a food and drink kiosk located directly behind our seating area and there were 6 accessible toilets located directly behind us also. A lot of thought has gone into making this stadium accessible friendly and I am aware that further work is ongoing to improve it even more, Maria Castello Talavera who is the Disability Accesses Officer for Atletico should be applauded for her commitment and desire to improve things for disabled supporters.
Apart from the result it was a very enjoyable experience, the combination of a football club like Atletico Madrid putting a strong emphasis on inclusion for disabled supporters coupled
with the support of Yonit and her
team of stewards made this one
of the easiest fixtures that I have attended has a wheelchair user, long may this continue because a high bar has certainly been set.
Atletico really need to be applauded
for their commitment to disability and inclusion in football and I hope that this can be fed back to Maria and her team if at all possible.
Departing the stadium
Absolutely no issues, departing the stadium was easy and local staff were on hand at the Metro station to assist us on to the metro.
To sum up what was the easiest
trip I have experienced in 40 years following the Reds around Europe
and the following must be noted: The supporter information leaflet and the communication from Yonit Sharibi and LFC was truly outstanding. The support from the LFC accessibility team at the stadium was once again first class.
The support from Maria Castello Talavera and the accessibility stewards of Atletico Madrid was also outstanding and sets
a template for other clubs to follow.
The best of trips apart from the result. A heartfelt thank you to everyone mentioned in this report and I want you all to know that you made a difference.

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