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Stade Français claims first with initiative for visually impaired fans

French Top 14 rugby union club Stade Français Paris has agreed a partnership with technology company eSight that it claims marks a first for European sport.

The US firm manufactures electronic glasses for the legally blind and has established a global commitment to make blindness history by 2020. Through its partnership with Stade Français, eSight will provide its glasses to visually impaired fans attending games at the Stade Jean-Bouin, commencing with the team’s next home match against Agen on April 13.

The glasses eSight produce utilise a mix of optical and computer technology to stimulate the remaining photoreceptors in a person’s eyes, sending more information to the brain and enhancing their ability to see clearly.

Stade Français said that while the technology has been previously utilised in North American ice hockey league the NHL and by basketball team the Harlem Globetrotters, it is the first time it has been introduced by a European sports organisation.

Thibault Joffroy, event project manager and head of social action at Stade Français, said: “Solidarity and support for people with disabilities is part of the DNA of our club so we had to show an example with this type of approach for more accessibility in the sport.”

Image: Stade Français