Social activities for people with sight loss, in the Brighton and Hove Area
Argus Charity of the year 2008
A tour of the new Brighton & Hove Albion stadium at Falmer proved a rousing success with City Synergy members who were over the moon about this impressive facility and fascinated to hear how much thought had gone into the design and community commitment of the club
We were greeted in the West Stand reception by Sean, our tour leader who initially took us to the trophy room where we saw the first and second division champions trophies along with several other awards, of course there is room for expansion when the club achieves more glittering successes in future years. We were then shown the hospitality rooms where club members can enjoy a meal before and after the game and which can be hired out to parties
From the top of the stand we were able to take in the view of the ground as Sean explained the way each side of the ground was designed for different groups of people in the hope that it would be a safe place for families etc to enjoy the games. He also explained the clubs commitment to being environmentally sustainable in the way the grass is looked after.
We were then taken back inside for a tour of the dressing room areas where we also saw the hot and cold baths, physio tables, the press room and interview table, the referee’s room, and the warm up rooms complete with artificial grass. All these designed to meet the standards for Premiership and European competitions.
After this we went out to the pitch to a big cheer, (OK, it came from us!) regrettably we were not allowed on the pitch so Keith could not fulfil his refereeing duties and I was denied the chance to take a penalty in from of the north stand, we sat in the dugout and shouted some orders from the technical area then walked round the pitch to the east stand for a view back towards the impressive West Stand.
Back inside the stand we walked round the concourse where there were a number of paintings and drawings showing the club history and illustrating the commitment of the club to be inclusive, one poem by school children was highlighted in Braille
There was just time for a trip to the North stand and a visit to the club shop before we said our goodbyes to Sean and headed for Dick’s Bar for a drink and in some cases something to eat, I can highly recommend the Paninis.
We are very grateful to Sean who was an excellent guide keeping us informed and with lots of humour, even those of us on a diet would have been tempted by his description of the pies. The club have clearly put a lot of thought into this stadium with little left to chance and it is so impressive. Hopefully we will organise to a trip to a game some time during the season
Above - The first and second division
Above - North Stand as viewed from
top of West Stand
Above - The Home dressing room
Above - Paul imagines what it is like to
Gus Poyet, sitting at the interview table
Above - A braille poem in the concourse
Above - view across the pitch
to the West Stand
Report by Paul Gillett