Deaf Newcastle Fans Get A Whole New Feel for the Game With Vibrating Kits – SportsLogos.Net News

Deaf Newcastle Fans Get A Whole New Feel for the Game With Vibrating Kits

Fans of Premier League side Newcastle United who are deaf or have hearing loss got a whole new feel for the stadium experience over the weekend thanks to new vibrating kits.

According to a report by the BBC, the new “haptic kits” are a result of a partnership Newcastle sponsor Sela and the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) in the United Kingdom called Unsilence the Crowd. They employ sensors that vibrate when action takes place on the pitch.

Supporters tried out the kits in game action for the first time on Saturday when Newcastle United hosted Tottenham Hotspur.

“It’s really good for the deaf to be able to feel included — to feel connected and part of it,” Newcastle supporters Ryan Gregson and David Wilson told BBC Radio Newcastle through an interpreter. “We can see the atmosphere, but to actually feel the atmosphere, and the jumping, and the crowd, that would be really great.”

Newcastle supporters David Wilson (left) and Ryan Gregson were among those with the chance to try out new haptic kits on Saturday. (Courtesy BBC)

RNID director for inclusion Teri Devine told the BBC the new technology could have “a real and lasting impact” for sports fans who are deaf or have hearing loss. And Newcastle chief commercial officer Peter Silverstone said the Unsilence the Crowd campaign could be “game-changing for football.”

“When Sela shared the idea and technology behind the haptic shirts, we supported the concept immediately, knowing it would make such an impact to our supporters who are deaf or have hearing loss,” Silverstone said.

(L-R) Sela VP Ibrahim Mohtaseb, NUFC chief commercial officer Peter Silverstone and Dr. Lauren Ward of the RNID. (Courtesy BBC)

Sela — a sports event company based in Saudi Arabia — has committed to making the technology available to fans who need it at all future Newcastle games at their home stadium, St. James’ Park.

“St James’ Park is renowned for its noise and passion,” Sela senior vice president Ibrahim Mohtaseb told the BBC. “Through this initiative we hope to enable deaf fans and fans with hearing loss to feel a part of this.”

Sela also donated its front-of-shirt sponsorship to the RNID for Saturday’s match against Tottenham.

Courtesy @NUFC / Twitter