Women's CWC venues receive $2m fund to improve 'gender-neutral' facilities for female athletes

Organisers for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup are welcoming a $2 million funding boost that will go towards upgrading player facilities at the five New Zealand venues for the tournament.

South Africa's Dane Van Niekerk against the White Ferns Source: Photosport

Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 CEO Andrea Nelson announced this afternoon the package will focus on redeveloping player facilities, including toilets, to make them gender-neutral.

“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 Basin Reserve will be the first venue reworked but the other four set for upgrades are Seddon Park, Hagley Oval, University Oval and the NZC High Performance Centre at Lincoln University.

Minister of Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson said today’s investment follows an initial $7.3 million World Cup Accessible Venues Fund, which covered upgrades to facilities at the match venues and training grounds for the 2021 Rugby World Cup, 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup and 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cups, all of which New Zealand is hosting.

“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,” 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.

“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.”

All the funding announced so far comes from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package the Government announced in this year’s Budget to help with the financial strains caused by Covid-19.

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.