Celtic FC, along with it's disabled supporters, this week received with a special collaboration award by CAFE (Centre for Access to Football in Europe) for their efforts in making football more inclusive for individuals with disabilities.
Peter Ritchie and Kevin Mackin from the Celtic Disabled Supporters Association, along with Celtic's Disability Access Officer, Alex Dobbin, were presented with the award in Bilbao (Spain) by former Netherlands and Juventus star Edgar Davids.
Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “We are delighted to accept this prestigious award from CAFE which demonstrates our real commitment to promoting access for all in football. Celtic is for everyone and we have worked hard to ensure that we understand the different needs of our supporters who face various forms of disability.
“We dedicate this award to all our disabled supporters who give such commitment to the club and we can assure these fans that we will continue to work with them to deliver a positive and welcoming experience for all at Celtic Park.”
Peter Joyce, Chairman of the CDSA added: "The CDSA are also delighted to be recognised by CAFE with this award for our work with Celtic. Considering the number of clubs in Europe, it is an honour to be chosen for this above others.
“We are working closer with Celtic than we have ever been and this is bringing added benefits for our members. We will continue to develop initiatives to improve facilities and promote inclusion at Celtic Park and elsewhere."
In line with the club's "Open to All" ethos, Celtic have worked tirelessly on new initiatives to improve the matchday experience for it's supporters with disabilities by way of:
- Developing new designated seating in the North West corner, dubbed the "Tommy Burns View"
- implementing new information for fans
- Updating audio experience on match day for those with visual impairments
- introducing new accessible menus at food and drink kiosks
- Appointing the club's first full time dedicated Disability Access Officer
Celtic FC hope that these new initiatives inspire supporters with disabilities who couldn't normally attend or were lacking in taking in all aspects of games now will experience as full a match day experience as everyone else.
Truly exceptional work recognised by an exceptional achievement.