Video link - https://www.watfordfc.com/news/sensory-room-kais-journey-to-the-vicarage-road-stands#play
Watford Football Club prides itself on being ‘The Original Family Club’ and works hard to ensure that everyone can attend matches in an environment free of discrimination, prejudice, and with equal access for all supporters.
One example of this in action is the Sensory Room, which opened in 2016. Kitted out with a state-of-the-art calming area and offering an excellent view of the match from a comfortable and accessible viewing location, the Sensory Room has been designed for autistic children who may otherwise struggle to cope in the noisy environment of a football stadium.
The main aim is to ensure autistic children feel comfortable attending football matches with their families in the Sensory Room environment, with a view to transitioning into seating in the main stadium if they feel confident enough.
One of the Sensory Room success stories is 10-year-old Kai Purvis, who started attending games at Vicarage Road in the Sensory Room, and is now a Season Ticket holder in the Sir Elton John Stand.
Kai has been able to develop a familiar matchday routine for himself, thanks to attending matches in the Sensory Room and then deciding to trial seating in the Sir Elton John Stand with ear defenders. He now enjoys watching the players warm up before kick-off and joining in with the Watford songs and chants. Kai and his mum Louise created a storyboard explaining his Sensory Room journey, which you see via the video link above.