Forward Madison FC announces first-of-its kind group for fans living with disabilities
The Accessimingos are joining the Flock!
MADISON, Wis.– Forward Madison FC is making sure all fans feel welcome at Breese Stevens Field once the 2021 season kicks off.
The professional soccer team is launching the Accessimingos, a first-of-its-kind fan club for people living with disabilities. Founded by three fans- Tyler Engel, Brian Messman and Bill Schultz – who use wheelchairs, the Accessimingos will focus on creating an inclusive environment for FMFC’s disabled supporters.
“The three of us tend to find ourselves sitting next to each other in the Flock End, so we wanted our experience to be shared by more people,” Schultz said. “Soccer’s a game for everyone, and as folks with disabilities, we’ve enjoyed our time supporting Forward Madison immensely.”
Forward Madison has committed to making several stadium improvements that the group requested. Going forward, Breese Stevens Field will have an alternative path to concessions, a ramp for the Flock End merchandise stand, and complimentary tickets for caregivers. These improvements follow several other modifications made previously by the Club including an accessible capo stand and handicapped accessible toilets in the Flock End.
According to Forward Madison COO & Owner Conor Caloia, these additions make Breese Stevens Field more welcoming to all fans.
“I want to congratulate Tyler, Bill and Brian and recognize the Flock for truly breaking ground in American soccer,” Caloia said. “We share their vision for a match day environment that is enjoyable, accessible and welcoming to all. We are excited to collaborate with them on facility improvements in 2021 and beyond to make Breese Stevens Field more accessible.”
According to Engel, the Accessimingos spent last year communicating about what a disabled supporters’ group would look like.
“It took a few chats to write down what we wanted to accomplish with this group,” Engel said “Our main goal is to make supporting Forward Madison inviting and accessible to everyone.”
For Messman, the new group can allow others to experience a passion that is close to his heart.
“It’s important to reach out to those who are nervous about coming to a game,” Messman said. “That’s how I was during my first time, but because I showed up I got to meet some great people and make new friends. I’ve been able to enjoy the game I love in the city I call home.”
Fans wanting to connect with the Accessimingos can now do so on their Facebook and Twitter pages. The new group will act as a subsidiary of The Flock, Forward Madison’s independent supporters’ association.
Fans can also support the Accessimingos by pre-ordering their new scarf here. 50-percent of the proceeds will go towards making Breese Stevens more accessible for all. The other half will go to the Wisconsin Warriors, a wheelchair power soccer team based in Madison.
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