Sunday the 11th August saw us travelling away to Wakefield Trinity, I had purchased a standard ticket and Mum had spoken to Wakefield Trinity about parking.
Wakefield was one of only 2 away games I attended last season, so I was aware of the layout and the seating area for disabled.
The arrangement made with Wakefield was for us to be able to drop off at the ground and then for the driver to park up, which he duly did.
On arrival we pulled up outside of the ground and where we all got dropped off along with Speedy IGO.
Below is what greeted me to get across to the stand, gravel everywhere and no real pedestrian access as cars where still driving me at me while I was crossing it as slowly as I could manage. Also, dreadful for ambulant people to walk on.
On getting to the stand, there is a disabled access gate which also doubles up as access to the executive boxes and the dressing rooms with a steep slope up towards to the seating area.
The seating area is an open sided wooden hut with a roof on and chairs for carers that have been brought down from the hospitality area, either wooden or with a little padding on, not ideal for sitting for 80 minutes to watch a game of rugby.
There is only room for a maximum of six wheelchairs, depending on their size and you are in direct line of the playing surface with no protective barriers, should a player or ball go astray over the dead ball line they would be straight into you.
The view is great if you like being ground level as for the first time in many a year I at least could see the whole pitch.
As half time approached my friend Karen arrived from the stand to see me and took me to the toilet, up on asking for the disabled toilets I was directed to a toilet where there was quite a queue forming and some of my other friends where in it.
Karen asked them why they where queuing there and they replied a steward had sent them, so they didn’t have to go to the other end of the stand.
Karen being Karen stood her ground and guided me to the front of the queue, one lady asked if I needed to go and Karen quickly responded when she needs to go, she has to go, while pointing in the direction behind the executive boxes as there were further toilets there. I really don’t know what I would do without her sometimes, she is one special friend to me.
Into the toilet which wasn’t secured by a radar lock and was just open for anyone to use, hence the queue outside, it had a slope to get in and also had a grab bar next to the toilet seat, with a low sink and a baby change table on the wall, for one of the older grounds I have visited it wasn’t a bad toilet. There was also toilet roll and paper towels.
At the end of the game, we all exited the hut and the journey back to the coach began, now on the way in I did say there was a slope, well I had to get back down this and was very nervous as it was so steep. I asked a friend if he would push me down the slope and then I would be fine, what I didn’t bank on was him letting go of me at the bottom without warning and I drove straight into a fence. I am still learning with Speedy IGO it has to be said.
Making our way back out of the car park a group from our coach where walking with us and it was a good job as one of them had to push me out of the car park, the gravel was awful to get over and the only way out was the same way as the cars were going.
This has to be one of the scariest situations I have every been in as the cars just weren’t stopping for me they just kept on pushing their way out, one even cutting me up to the left of me, when we finally got to the end of the car park to get across the road to the coach a car to the right of me flashed me across, so the car on the outside of me turned into the road at the same time, no idea how he didn’t hit me, then just as I was crossing the final road to get to the coach a car pulled straight out in front of me.
Drivers for heaven’s sake have some bloody consideration, the maximum speed I can go is 4mph now that is flat out and I actually don’t think it goes that fast, I have no protection surrounding me, you hit me, it’s me you will damage. If you see someone with a mobility scooter or an electric wheelchair please be a bit more patient, no one is in that much of a rush that they need to plough into me.
Thankfully safely back on the coach and home again with a win in the bag to boot.
In summary – Wakefield is a very old ground and though I handed my bottle to the steward at the gate and asked him to dispose of it, which he did, there was no bag check requested. The hut is not big enough and from a safety point of view is far to close to the playing area without any protection.
The car park needs pedestrian access as it was just a free for all with cars coming from every direction and very unsafe for wheelchair and ambulant users to cross.
Even though they had a disabled toilet, stewards should not be advising able bodied fans to use it, as that defeats the object.
My overall score is 5 out of 10.
Have you been to Wakefield Trinity, let me know in the comments below and please share.