Search

Arsenal Invincible legend Robert Pires makes a young fan with autism’s day in Emirates award-winning sensory room

PUBLISHED: 18:06 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:11 21 March 2018

Arsenal legend Robert Pires with Harley in the ground-breaking sensory room at the Emirates

Arsenal legend Robert Pires with Harley in the ground-breaking sensory room at the Emirates

Archant

Arsenal legend Robert Pires made a young Arsenal fan with autism’s day when he paid a visit to the club’s award-winning sensory room.

Harley enjoys the award-winning Arsenal sensory roomHarley enjoys the award-winning Arsenal sensory room

Arsenal’s sensory room has been hailed by Junior Gunners with autism and their parents as ‘amazing’.

The sensory room played host to children with autism and Down’s syndrome during Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Watford.

The unique facility at the Emirates was introduced in September to improve match day experiences for supporters with disabilities.

The room has been a huge success in assisting children with disability to have their own comfortable experience while feeling secure in their surroundings.

Harley enjoys the ground-breaking sensory room at the EmiratesHarley enjoys the ground-breaking sensory room at the Emirates

Young Gunner Harley has been busy exploring the valuable community resource at the Emirates – as well as meeting Highbury idol Pires.

His dad, Dave Hurrell proudly looked on as his little Gunner explored the facilities of the sensory room on his first-ever Arsenal game when Arsene Wenger’s side beat Everton 5-1 in February.

Hurrell said the unforgettable day left him and his son with ‘amazing memories’ – all thank to the sensory room.

He said: “Amazing football game for my Harley at Arsenal courtesy of the sensory room – and meeting a true legend.”

Arsenal's award-winning sensory roomArsenal's award-winning sensory room

Another Arsenal supporter, Tony Barnett, praised the sensory room for being ‘a wonderful place’ for his seven-year-old son, Noah.

The room allows young fans the chance to cheer on their team without feeling uncomfortable – disconcerted by the very things we take for granted at a football match.

Tony explained to the Islington Gazette: “The sensory room removes many of the barriers that could stop an ASD child from being able to attend matches.

“Turnstiles, crowds, shouting are things you worry about.

“Once inside it’s relaxed with shoes and coats taken off, it’s a bit like being at home.”

Barnett added his son loved being able to watch the game through the window in the viewing room.

The pair will be in attendance at the Emirates on Sunday, April 1, when Arsenal host Stoke, a game young Noah told us ‘can’t wait’ to see.

The Shippey Campaign came up with the initiative, a campaign founded by parents of children with autism.

Founders Kate and Peter Shippey are thrilled with Arsenal’s work to help children with autism,

Speaking on their website Peter hailing Arsenal saying: ‘[The club] is an absolute pleasure to support, guide and advise.

“It’s brilliant to see Arsenal taking care of their supporters and opening a door that may have been previously shut.”

An Arsenal spokesman said: “We have been working tirelessly on improving the experience for people with disability, dating back to the 1960’s when a commentary service for the blind was first introduced.

“The club have also increased the number of Wheelchair spaces this year to 258, as well as introducing a Disabled Supporters Match Day Lounge, an area where disabled supporters can meet before a game.”

Arsenal have proudly obtained the Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence award due to their support for disabled fans and visitors.

*Arsenal’s Sensory Room has been honoured by the football accessibility organisation The Level Playing Field – the first professional football club to achieve the prestigious award.

The Level Playing Field aim to promote access for fans at football matches and have been honouring the efforts of football clubs around the country as part of their ‘week of action’, including Arsenal.

Follow the charity Level Playing Field @lpftweets.

For more on the Shippey Campaign follow @ShippeyCampaign.

Latest Islington Sports News

34 minutes ago

Stuart Law will leave his role as West Indies head coach to take over at Middlesex from next season.

Yesterday, 19:40

Durham have made the perfect start to Paul Collingwood’s final match, producing a strong performance to lead Middlesex by 106 runs on day one of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at Emirates Riverside.

Yesterday, 12:00

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has been speaking to the Islington Gazette. Read on for what he had to say to Layth Yousif.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been speaking after his side’s 2-0 victory over Everton which has moved the North Londoners up to sixth place. Read on to learn what the head coach has to say about the second half improvement, his take on first goalscorer Alexander Lacazette and Sokratis’ injury

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been speaking after his side’s 2-0 victory over Everton at the Emirates on Sunday as the Gunners made it four league wins on the bounce and five in five. Read on for his verdict in his own words

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Arsenal hosted Everton at the Emirates on Sunday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Arsenal hosted Everton at the Emirates on Sunday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s match report.

Arsenal defensive legend Nigel Winterburn has been speaking to the Islington Gazette ahead of the Premier League match with

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now