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GC ZURICH AND AUTISM SWITZERLAND CREATE UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS
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GC ZURICH AND AUTISM SWITZERLAND CREATE UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS

In November, Grasshopper Club Zurich and Autism Switzerland jointly launched a pilot project to provide children and adolescents on the autism spectrum with the opportunity to experience a football match tailored to their specific needs. This collaboration also aims to break down barriers and provide an inclusive platform.

During the home game against FC Stade-Lausanne-Ouchy, a total of 19 individuals—children and adolescents with autism and their accompanying persons—were guests at the stadium Letzigrund. For most of them, it was a first-time experience. In advance, they received a photo story with all the essential information to prepare for their stadium visit. It was crucial to create an environment where the individuals could experience the football match with as little stress as possible. By providing two exclusive boxes, GC Zurich created an atmosphere tailored to their special needs, offering a pleasant and quiet environment with retreat options.

Süleyman Celikyurt, Head of Game Operations and Events at GC Zurich, organised the event behind the scenes, and he also sees a lot of positives in this collaboration: "Autism Switzerland and GCZ have taken the first step with this pilot project to create a world where everyone, regardless of their individual challenges, can fully enjoy the charm of football. I have learned a lot and look forward to having people on the autism spectrum regularly visit our home games in the future. It is an enrichment for everyone."

Regula Buehler, Managing Director of Autism Switzerland, gives a clearly positive assessment after the first match: "The feedback after the event was unanimously positive. The joy and gratitude of those affected and their accompanying persons were very significant."

Participants also expressed their enthusiasm: "It was a great experience that helped to be part of the 'other' world without feeling constrained in any way," "Attending the game in a quiet part of the stands is very energy-saving," and "The organization, access to the boxes and assistance were superb. Of course, it was also great to see the many goals and GC's victory."

When asked whether GC Zurich and Autism Switzerland should continue organizing such events in the future, participants responded with 100% approval. In response to the question "why," the father of a child on the autism spectrum said, "Because we have encountered great interest in this event, and because it should be possible for all interested football fans to participate in a football match." We are confident that the project will be continued next year."

You can find more information at www.autismus.ch

Autism Switzerland relies on your donations to ensure that such projects continue to be possible. Your support not only enables autism-friendly projects, but also free counselling and awareness-raising on the subject of autism.

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