Message from Sandy Riach Chairman – ” Due to unforeseen circumstances the meeting this week has had to be cancelled. Further information will follow shortly”
And what a day it was!! First leg of the journey was Easyjet flight from Edinburgh to Charles De Gaulle which due to industrial action in France was cancelled! This meant we would miss our train connection in Paris to Marseilles and all sorts of problems. We took a gamble and switched to a Spanish Airline but they flew to Orly not Charles De Gaulle. Hiccup at Edinburgh as they could not find the sedan chair to get Allan on to the plane and in Orly more delay, which upset the pilot, as they forgot to bring the lift vehicle to the plane.
Before leaving Edinburgh we telephoned Yoola, an agency based in Paris who arrange accessible travel to see what they could do to help us as they had made all our hotel and train reservations. This is were the owner of the company, Malik Padsi, was brilliant. He arranged for an accessible taxi to meet us at Orly and he also drove to the airport to give the driver new train tickets as by now they had found out another train left Gard de Lyons at 820pm. We arrived at the station at 8pm where Malik was waiting for us to make sure all was ok on a very busy train full of French and Albanian football fans. The station staff were very helpful in getting Allan on to the train and with it being such a rush Malik was only able to book two standard seats in different coaches and not a wheelchair space for Allan. However with his intervention we were given a wheelchair space and a seat in a first class coach! We finally arrived in Marseilles at midnight with a very helpful taxi driver taking us to our hotel and you can see the view from our room in the picture!
More of a humorous 45 minutes than an incident. The S.D.S.A. AGM was held at Hampden Park on Saturday 28th 2016 with the formal part of the meeting interrupted for a surprise Q & A session with the stars from Off The Ball, Tam Cowan and Stuart Cosgrove. Both guys have actively supported our cause for some time through their radio show and it was great to have them along to Hampden. The picture was taken as Stuart on the right was telling us about the way media works.
Good to see Livingston F.C. as a club sitting down with their trust organisation, their disabled supporters and the S.D.S.A to talk about expansion and improvements to the existing wheelchair user areas in time for the start of their League One campaign.It’s always a challenge when a stadium was built before the current regulations and good practices came into being. However as a team they’ll get it fixed.
This discussion also clarified the organisational set up with regard to supporters in general and their Trust organisation clearly painting the picture that now the right way forward was to launch a DSA which will be called the Livingston Disabled Supporters Club. Marcus Kane has taken on the role of Chairperson with Alex Williams becoming vice-chairman. Both guys have represented their club’s interests for some time and it’s great to see things formalised as of 26th May 2016. There was a good attendance at the meeting and the next step is to gather up potential member data at the same time looking to fill the secretary & treasurer posts.