Fans at Crawley Town who suffer from impaired vision are having the game brought to life thanks to the club’s new audio descriptive service.
Supporters attending matches at the club’s Checkatrade.com Stadium can register for a radio receiver that delivers a live description of the action unfolding by commentators from a company called Alan March Sport (AMS).
Volunteers Adam Inker, Harry Maynard, Ben Adams and Richard Fox trained through the summer so they can accurately and quickly paint a picture of the play on the pitch.
In a blog post for the Crawley Observer, Reds fan Karen Dunn described the new, free service as “the football equivalent of a Kindle” which ensures those with poor eyesight need not miss out on the matchday excitement.
“To be able to enjoy a live game again and form an opinion on the team’s performance based on more than just the final score was a pleasure I didn’t realise I had missed until it was returned,” Karen said after using the service at the club’s match against AFC Wimbledon.
The descriptive service at Crawley is different to a traditional radio broadcast, with no long-winded anecdotes or unnecessary stats thrown in. Instead the commentators are trained to keep up with play to the second and focus on the action on the field of play.
Karen said: “When Barbara Robinson, who volunteers at the Checkatrade.com Stadium as a supporter liaison officer, told me about the new service I was torn between excitement and doubt.
“I had tried listening to radio commentary before and found myself becoming annoyed by commentators who liked to bombard the listener with their encyclopaedic knowledge of football rather than actually concentrating on describing the game.”