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Facilitating inclusivity and broadening understandings of access at football clubs: the role of disabled supporter associations

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journal contribution
posted on 26.09.2016, 10:42 authored by Borja Garcia-GarciaBorja Garcia-Garcia, Mads de Wolff, Joanna Welford, Brett M. Smith
Research question: To which extent do Disabled Supporters Associations (DSAs) contribute to improve access of fans with disabilities to football? This research question addresses two interrelated gaps: The lack of attention to supporters in European policies on inclusion in and through sport, and the excessive focus on physical barriers over other dimensions of access in both policy and research on disability and sport. Research methods: The study uses visual auto-ethnography. Seven disabled supporters, members of three different DSAs at football clubs in England took part in the study. They were asked to take photographs of their life as a supporter over a period of eight weeks, and were interviewed at the end to discuss and clarify the meaning of the pictures. Results and Findings: Attention to physical spaces is not enough to ensure inclusivity in the stands. Further dimensions need attention by clubs, including knowledge, relationships and participation, and power of advocacy. DSAs have the potential to play a pivotal role in helping clubs improving their provisions for disabled fans, since they act as both a social forum a point of contact for clubs, but they are hampered for their lack or resources and clubs’ almost exclusive focus on physical access. Nind and Seale’s multi-dimensional model of access for the disabled is one useful way of interpreting these results. Implications: Conceptual understandings of access and inclusion can be broadened by using Nind and Seale’s model. Policies addressing inclusion in football should focus not only on those doing sport, but also on those spectating.

Funding

This work was supported by the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for research, technological development & demonstration under grant number 290805, as part of the FREE project (Football Research in an Enlarged Europe).

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

European Sport Management Quarterly

Volume

17

Issue

2

Pages

226-243

Citation

GARCIA, B. ...et al., 2016. Facilitating inclusivity and broadening understandings of access at football clubs: the role of disabled supporter associations. European Sport Management Quarterly, 17 (2), pp. 226-243.

Publisher

Taylor & Francis © European Association for Sport Management

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

26/08/2016

Publication date

2016-11-29

Copyright date

2017

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Sport Management Quarterly on 29 November 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/16184742.2016.1246584.

ISSN

1618-4742

eISSN

1746-031X

Language

en