The club have hundreds of fans registered on its growing disability supporter database.
- Louise Peet is one of the club's Disability Liaison Officers.
- All four stands at the DW Stadium have designated platforms for wheelchair users.
- Latics are celebrating their Together programme of equality and diversity ahead of Saturday's game against West Ham.
A supporter friendly venue, the DW Stadium aims to offer disabled fans the best possible match day experience, with hundreds of individuals registered on its growing disability supporter database.
Tasked with working alongside disabled supporters who visit the home of Paul Cook’s Latics are Disability Liaison Officers Louise Peet and Norma Sherratt, who have been in their roles for a combined time of nearly 30 years.
All four stands at the DW Stadium have two designated platforms for wheelchair users, with catering and toilet facilities available, along with a lift to each concourse and direct access to platforms.
Supporters with other disabilities and needs can also be accommodated within every stand at the DW Stadium, while visually impaired fans can use the club’s headsets to listen to games.
Before Christmas, staff from Wigan Athletic Football Club, Wigan Athletic Community Trust and the DW Stadium took part in Wigan Council’s Autism Friends training course, a workshop designed to provide awareness around the subject and how to better understand people living with autism.
As part of the club’s Together Week, which celebrates the work of Wigan Athletic Football Club, Wigan Athletic Community Trust and the DW Stadium around equality and diversity, we spoke to Louise to learn more about what the DW Stadium offers disabled supporters.
She said: “We’re very approachable and encourage supporters to come and speak to us about the DW Stadium and their match day experience as a whole.
“In each stand we have two pods for wheelchair users and also have carer seats too, while the front row of the West Stand is also reserved.
“Supporters with other needs can sit wherever they feel comfortable inside the DW Stadium. We don’t restrict anyone, and it’s completely up to the individual where they want to sit, while for visually impaired supporters we offer a hearing set in Row R of every stand.”
Louise has been working closely with a female supporter over the past few months, and explains the steps that were taken to make her experience of the DW Stadium a memorable one.
“A young female fan with anxiety approached us so I took her on a tour of the stadium so she’d know what to expect on a day of a game. We started watching games on the outer seats before she felt comfortable enough to move into the central blocks.
“It was pleasing to see her build her confidence and become comfortable in her surroundings, and what’s really important for us as staff is that we build a strong rapport with fans. Everyone is equal when they come to the DW Stadium, and we’re here to help every single supporter, we pride ourselves on that.
“The DW Stadium is a special place for supporters because our team is very welcoming and treat each individual with the utmost respect. We want our supporters to leave with smiles on their faces having enjoyed the game and their experience.”
Wigan Athletic Football Club, Wigan Athletic Community Trust and the DW Stadium are committed to respecting and promoting equality and diversity across all its activities through ‘Together’.
For more information about ‘Together’, please click here.