Auckland, Nov 19 (IANS) The New Zealand government has announced a US$2 million package to upgrade players’ facilities, like toilets, at the venues and training arenas for the 2022 ICC Womens World Cup as it aims to make them gender neutral.
Wellington’s Basin Reserve, Seddon Park at Hamilton, Hagley Oval in Christchurch, University Oval in Dunedin and the NZC High Performance Centre at Lincoln University are the venues that will be upgraded.
Eden Park, a venue that could host matches across all three women’s world cups (cricket, rugby and football), has also been earmarked for gender-neutral upgrades, while Tauranga’s Bay Oval has been assessed as already being at an acceptable standard.
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.”
ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 CEO Andrea Nelson welcomed the announcement 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,” Nelson said. “To achieve exceptional performances, players need access to appropriate facilities.”
The $2m investment in women’s cricket World Cup venue upgrades 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.