Kyiv disability congress backs game with no limits

A "barrier-free Ukraine" conference in Kyiv helped to promote the Football with No Limits initiative that is part of UEFA's Respect Inclusion programme for UEFA EURO 2012.

Delegates at the conference in Kyiv which called for "A barrier-free Ukraine"
Delegates at the conference in Kyiv which called for "A barrier-free Ukraine" ©CAFE

Ukraine's National Assembly of Disabled People held a nationwide congress in Kyiv – under the slogan "A barrier-free Ukraine" – to coincide with the UN's International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December.

The conference, which focused on ensuring the rights of disabled supporters both before and during UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, brought together representatives from the National Agency for EURO 2012 in Ukraine, the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) and local organising committees (LOCs) as well as fan zone managers from all EURO host cities, representatives of state architectural and building inspection authorities, and disability NGOs from across Ukraine.

Participants discussed the Football with No Limits initiative that forms part of the wider Respect Inclusion programme for UEFA EURO 2012 – hearing about its implementation at local level and the first results achieved. Each Ukrainian EURO host city – Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv and Lviv – reported on their current status in terms of accessibility of places, services and routes for disabled supporters, and existing problems.

To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Kyiv's brand-new Olympic Stadium – venue for the EURO final on 1 July – welcomed disabled fans for a full arena tour. Participants were able to test and provide feedback on the accessible facilities that have been installed, and offer suggestions on how they could be improved.

The Respect Inclusion – Football with No Limits project aims to promote good access for disabled supporters before, during and after the EURO championship. Respect Inclusion is one of four key strands of UEFA's Respect social responsibility campaign at next summer's tournament, together with Respect Diversity, Respect Fan Culture and Respect your Health.