The first ever Total Football, Total Access European conference, which was held last weekend at Wembley Stadium, has been hailed as a resounding success by its organisers, FARE partners, CAFE (Centre for Access to Football in Europe).
Over 170 Participants
The conference welcomed over 170 delegates from 18 different countries to London to meet, listen and debate with football executives, stadium managers, architects, football association and club representatives, ex-players and disabled and non-disabled fans about making European football accessible to all.
Highlights of the event included a welcome ceremony hosted by CAFE’s chairman David Bernstein, as well as an opening speech by Patrick Gasser, Senior Manager of the Football and Social Responsibility unit at UEFA.
Patrick Gasser addressed the audience at Wembley and also commented on the UEFA Monaco award which helped to form CAFE in 2009:
Improve Access to Football
“UEFA received more praise for making this award to CAFE than for the many other worthy recipients there have been before and since 2009. The accessibility situation in Europe has started to improve, but it is a development process which will take time. We are confident that ‘Total Football, Total Access’ will help to further improve access to football and make football a more level playing field.”
Launch of Good Practice Guide
In addition, influential key figures Ben Veenbrink, Member of the UEFA Stadium Construction and Management Expert Panel and David Keirle, Chairman of KSS Design Group came together to discuss the importance of delivering accessible and inclusive stadia. The Conference included the launch of the new UEFA and CAFE Good Practice Guide – Access for All which sets out accessible stadia guidance for delivering an inclusive match day experience. This guide is now available online at UEFA.com and www.cafefootball.eu
Joyce Cook, Managing Director of CAFE comments:
“The conference was a real triumph and showcased everything we are working to achieve at CAFE. We have already had lots of positive feedback from our delegates and I feel we have made significant steps forward in putting CAFE’s aims on the map. The venue was the perfect setting for the conference and I’d like to thank the FA & Wembley for all their hard work along with all those who played their part in ensuring the success of our inaugural European Conference.”
EURO 2012 activities
CAFE is also working with UEFA EURO 2012 and the local organising committees in Poland & the Ukraine to help ensure a more inclusive tournament with the event seeing the launch of the UEFA EURO 2012 Respect Inclusion – Football with No Limits project. This project,funded by UEFA and the Council of Europe, aims toensure a more accessible experience for local and visiting disabled fans and tourists both during the tournament and in legacy.
Finally, CAFE is pleased to announce their new online post Conference service which includes videos of all key note speeches, presentations and panel sessions. These are available online at www.cafefootball.eu/cafe-conference-videos.aspx