10th Anniversary of the Saints Disabled Supporters’ Association
Celebrating our 10th Anniversary
We had big plans as to how to celebrate our 10th Anniversary with you all but COVID has put paid to most of these, so until we can properly celebrate this milestone, we have produced these two short videos.
The first video shows who has been with us on the journey, thanks those who have been instrumental, shows what we have achieved, and those that we have sponsored.
Don’forget to turn your sound up loud and sing along to Saints Brass playing “Oh When The Saints”.
The second video has clips of 10th Anniversary messages from some familiar faces sent into us from supporters of the SDSA. There are some very funny ones in there.
So please do enjoy and share with your family and friends
We will be celebrating our 10th Anniversary as soon as possible, so please check back here for more exciting news about what we are doing.
How did it come about?
In 2010, as part of the Football Association’s Disability Football Strategy, clubs were encouraged to set up supporter associations to give all disabled supporters a voice in issues that directly affect them in following and watching their club.
In May 2010, 5 disabled supporters including our current Chairman, were invited to St Mary’s by the club to discuss the setting up of a group which would act as a go-between for the club and disabled supporters. These 5 supporters met up to agree strategy and each assumed a role within the interim committee.
The plan was to officially launch the Saints Disabled Supporters’ Association in the August but following the sad passing of Markus Liebherr, the launch postponed until the end of September 2010 when the SDSA was inaugurated. The interim committee members took on their assumed roles officially from this date. The committee quickly expanded from 5 to 7, when 2 supporters at the launch meeting also offered to be involved.
The committee met with Nicola Cortese, the then Executive Chairman, shortly afterwards, and received his and the club’s blessing. He authorised a small donation from the club to get things started and arranged for the SDSA logo to be created, which is still used to this day.
Ten years on
Over the following 10 years the SDSA has worked to support and provide advice to disabled fans on any issues relating to their experience at football watching their team. We engage with the club to help them understand the needs of the disabled fan and have developed a great working relationship.
We have organised annual Open Days at the Stadium for people to understand and experience accessibility at the stadium and to showcase disabled sports and services available for disabled people in the community.
The Open Days are open to all, are free for anyone interested in what we do, and a fun day is had by all. We have had great support from the club, ex-players, managers, and people connected with the club.
These started off with less than 50 people joining us in 2011 but it has grown to over 1,000 people in 2019. Sadly, we were unable to hold the event in 2020 for obvious reasons but it would be great if we can hold it again in 2021!
We have also been keen to support disabled sport in the local community and have sponsored several local youth and pan disability teams in the area.