Inclusive matchdays

5 Jun 2018
Robbie Baker, Brighton TIPL

Football lovers like Robbie Baker, who has autism, were able to watch their teams in comfort this season thanks to the inclusive work of our clubs.

The introduction of the Charlie Perry Inclusion Room at the Amex Stadium has already seen life-changing matchday experiences for some of Brighton & Hove Albion's supporters.

The soundproof quiet space featuring sensory facilities overlooks the pitch and enables fans who struggle with large crowds and high volume levels to continue watching the Seagulls in action without feeling anxious or upset by the atmosphere.

Robbie Baker (above) is one young fan who has benefited from the new inclusion room. The 14-year-old has autism and twice had to leave a Brighton match because of the noise.

Following the launch of the new room in 2018/19, Robbie was invited by the club to look at the new facility alongside his dad, Russell, who says the addition has been a huge help to his son.

"I'm very, very impressed," Russell said. "I see it as a bridge to him sitting in the seats with the rest of the crowd. It's wonderful. Currently, I go to games with his older brother Dan and it makes me feel really pleased that both of them can one day sit together."

Russell also believes the efforts by Brighton & Hove Albion to assist Robbie, and others, are having a positive impact on his entire life, not just his days at the Amex.

"It's most definitely helping him develop," Russell said. "Without the inclusion room, I don't think we would have got to this point, where he has the confidence to think he can cope with big crowds."

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