ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 CEO Andrea Nelson welcomed the announcement of a $2 million package to ensure the venues’ changing facilities catered appropriately for female athletes.
“What goes on behind the scenes is a huge part of what happens out on the field,” Ms Nelson said.
“To achieve exceptional performances, players need access to appropriate facilities.”
Ms Nelson was delighted New Zealand’s hosting of the showpiece event of the women’s game had already proved a catalyst for meaningful, lasting change.
“This is what major events are all about. New Zealand’s premier sporting venues and the players that grace them will benefit from these facility upgrades for many years to come.
“Beyond the nationwide celebration of cricket in 2022, the CWC22 legacy will improve the experience of our women and girls in cricket for future generations.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson joined representatives of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2022 local organising committee and Cricket Wellington at Wellington’s Basin Reserve to announce the upgrades to five playing and training venues for the event.
As well as the Basin Reserve, the other venues are Seddon Park, Hagley Oval, University Oval and the NZC High Performance Centre at Lincoln University.
The upgrades focus on redevelopment of player facilities, including toilets, to make them gender-neutral and of a standard befitting the world’s best players.
“Facilities that are tailored for men are not always right for women, and part of this funding is about changing that, so we are good hosts for the world’s best women’s players in 2022,” Deputy Prime Minister Robertson said.
“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.”
The Basin Reserve is the first-of-five cricket training and game venues to be upgraded to provide fit-for-purpose, future proof, multi-sport changing rooms.
“As well as 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, reducing barriers to participation.”
The $2.0m investment in Women’s Cricket World Cup venue upgrades (match schedule to be announced next month) follows an initial $7.3 million World Cup Accessible Venues Fund announced as part of the $265m Sport Recovery Package. That investment covered upgrades to facilities at the match venues and training grounds for Rugby World Cup 2021, as well as the scoping of upgrades for Cricket World Cup and 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cups.
Eden Park, a venue that could host matches across all three women’s world cups, has also been earmarked for gender-neutral upgrades, while Tauranga’s Bay Oval has been assessed as already being at an acceptable standard.
Hosting the three women’s world cups is a catalyst for greater momentum behind the Government's 2018 Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation.
“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,” says Grant Robertson.
“I encourage all New Zealanders to get behind these tournaments and do what they can to make sport and recreation more attractive and accessible to women and girls.”