republicworld– New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern led government has offered a package of USD 2 million (₹14.86 crore) to improve the facilities at five stadiums to ensure gender-neutral facilities for the players. The five stadiums are the Basin Reserve in Wellington, Seddon Park in Hamilton, Hagley Oval and the NZC High Performance Centre in Christchurch, and University Oval in Dunedin. New Zealand is set to host the Women’s World Cup 2022 where the tournament will be played across these five venues.
Five New Zealand stadiums to get gender-neutral facilities ahead of Women’s World Cup 2022
The upgradation will be aimed at revamping player facilities, including the toilets at the grounds, to ensure they are gender-neutral ahead of the Women’s World Cup 2022. Welcoming the New Zealand PM’s decision, Andrea Nelson, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 CEO said that this is what major events are all about. She added that beyond the nationwide celebration of cricket in 2022, the Women’s World Cup 2022’s legacy will improve the experience of women and girls in cricket for future generations.
Nelson further said what goes on behind the scenes is a huge part of what happens out on the field. Highlighting the importance of enhanced facilities, she reckoned that in order to achieve exceptional performances, players need access to appropriate facilities.
Speaking about the package, New Zealand’s deputy prime minister Grant Robertson said that facilities that are tailored for men are not always right for women, and part of this funding is about changing that so that they are good hosts for the world’s best women’s players in 2022. Robertson reckoned that gender-neutral facilities are lacking at all levels of the sector and this needs to change in order to encourage more women and girls to participate in play, active recreation and sport.
Robertson further said that besides providing high-quality and safe facilities for the Cricket World Cup teams, they’ll provide an example of what good inclusivity looks like for everyone using the changing facilities regardless of gender which will reduced barriers to participation. He opined that hosting three Women’s World Cups in three years is a massive opportunity to drive positive change and put New Zealand on the world map when it comes to women in sport.