“Why doesn’t the elevator stand on the 2nd floor? Where is the disabled restroom?”

The K-League’s intuition (on-site viewing) from the perspective of the underprivileged is regarded as a “mission.” Even if there is a game you want to watch, you don’t know how to go to the stadium and give up at a stage of worry. Even if you take the courage to arrive at the stadium, you don’t know where to go to get to the stands to avoid the stairs. “I was reluctant to go to the stadium because there were not many amenities for people who use wheelchairs,” said Noh Tae-hyung, head of the Korea Association for the Disabled. Kwak Young-jin, chairman of the K-League Social Contribution Foundation, said, “My wife suddenly became disabled due to a brain disease three years ago. I have been living a variety of daily lives with my wife, and I learned about the inconvenience I didn’t know before. It is true that perceptions of people with disabilities have changed a lot compared to the past, but there are still many uncomfortable things.”

For the past 15 years, I have one memory of seeing a fan in a wheelchair on public transportation to cover the K-League sites. Is it because everyone uses their own car? Then, how can young fans who do not own their own cars move to the K-League stadium? The Korea Professional Football Association’s agony started at this point: “accessibility without discrimination.” The federation agreed that most of the 26 K-League stadiums have low ratio of disabled seats to the total number of seats (70 seats on average), and that information on disabled visitors is not provided, such as seats available for the disabled and accessible entrances and exits. Through the project called “Everyone’s Soccer Stadium, Everyone’s K-League,” they began a campaign to improve accessibility of K-League stadiums to support soccer tickets for the underprivileged. This is why the federation signed a business agreement with Hana Financial Group and the Community Chest of Korea (Fruit of Love) in August 2020, and began producing “K-League Stadium Guide Map for the Disabled.” 여우알바

In line with this, the K-League Social Contribution Foundation “K-League Assistant” was launched in April last year. “K-League Assistant” aims to play a central role in contributing to the entire society of K-League members (Federation, Clubs, Players, Fans) with the vision of “enabling everyone to enjoy soccer to their fullest.” Currently, the K-League Life Sharing Campaign, which spreads positive perceptions of organ and tissue donation to society and spreads a culture of life sharing, the K-League Dream Assistant, which conducts one-on-one mentoring for young players who dream of becoming professionals, and the K-League Dream Assistant, which creates a sustainable soccer environment by fulfilling environmental responsibilities for future generations. “I think K-League assist is a concept that eventually broadens welfare through sports,” said Kwak, a former vice minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism who left a strong mark in the sports world, including the vice chairman of the organizing committee for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the vice chairman of the Korea Football Association, and the vice chairman of the organizing committee for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Not only soccer lovers but also ordinary people like soccer, the foundation of soccer becomes strong, he said. “Through this, I want to be an ‘assist’ behind the scenes so that the region and individuals develop into a hopeful society.”

The “K-League Stadium Guidance for the Disabled” can be said to be the representative campaign of the “K-League Assistance.” The federation participated in due diligence on the accessibility of the stadium by people with physical disabilities who actually use wheelchairs to investigate the actual necessary information such as the movement of the wheelchair (the presence or absence of stairs, the height of the jaw). “When I went to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, I was very impressed by the fact that I could see the ground near the stadium,” said Chu Kuk-hwa, a lecturer in education at the National Rehabilitation Center. Over the past three years, the federation inspected stadium facilities and nearby public transportation facilities and collected information such as admission fees for the disabled. At the same time, it held a “Everyone’s dribble” campaign to provide an opportunity to improve awareness of disabilities. In addition, through collaboration with “small communication,” a social enterprise that produces easy-read-based contents for the information-based such as those with developmental disabilities, the federation laid the foundation for the creation of a comprehensive social environment that considers information access rights beyond improving the physical environment. “Hana GO Round,” a donation campaign aimed at improving the mobility of the disabled, which involved major players from each team in the K-League and famous soccer YouTube creator “GoAlle,” attracted explosive attention through various media channels.

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