‘Quiet Rooms’ at FIFA women’s extravaganza



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Quiet rooms at Womens WC Image: FIFA

Spectators at the Eden Park in Auckland (New Zealand)/Tāmaki Makaurau (Māori word for Auckland), Stadium Australia in Sydney/Wangal (‘Inner West’ of Sydney) and the Brisbane Stadium in Brisbane/Meaanjin (another name for Brisbane) (both in Australia) will have gameday access to ‘Quiet Rooms’, specifically designed for those with sensory processing difficulties.

‘FIFA’ stated that the ‘Quiet Rooms’ are designed to create a comfortable and calming environment to help individuals regulate their sensory input and reduce sensory overload. They will feature a range of sensory equipment and resources, such as weighted blankets, noise-cancelling headphones and calming lighting.

The Eden Park is New Zealand’s national stadium with a capacity of 50,000. Located in Central Auckland, New Zealand’s largest City, it is three kilometers Southwest of the central business district (CBD), on the boundary between the suburbs of Mount Eden and Kingsland. It opened in 1900. The South Stand was rebuilt for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The 83,500-capacity Stadium Australia is a multipurpose stadium located at the Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia.

The Sydney Olympic Park is a suburb of Greater Western Sydney (Australia), located 13 kilometers West of the Sydney central business district, in the local Government area of the City of Parramatta Council. It is commonly known as the Olympic Park but officially named the Sydney Olympic Park.

The 52,500-capacity Lang Park, also known as the Brisbane Football Stadium, by the sponsored name Suncorp Stadium, and nicknamed ‘The Cauldron’, is a multipurpose stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, located in the suburb of Milton.

‘FIFA’ further stated that the above initiative is another first for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, and a first for any stadium in Aotearoa New Zealand, supporting the tournament’s goal to be more inclusive and accessible for everyone.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ will be the ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, the quadrennial international association football championship contested by the women’s national teams and organized by FIFA. The tournament will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, and is scheduled to take place from July 20th-August 20th, 2023. It will be the first FIFA Women’s World Cup™ to have two host nations, and also the first senior World Cup to be held across multiple confederations, as Australia is in the Asian Confederation, while New Zealand is in the Oceanian Confederation. In addition, this tournament will be the first to have 32 teams, up from 24. It will be the same number that played for the men’s World Cup from 1998 to 2022.

Stated Sarai Bareman, FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, “Everyone deserves to enjoy the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, regardless of their sensory needs. That’s why we’re excited about the offering of dedicated ‘Quiet Rooms’ at Stadium Australia, Brisbane Stadium and Eden Park, supporting fans that require the space and their families, at what will be an inclusive and uniting tournament.”

Commented Nick Sautner, Eden Park Chief Executive Officer (CEO), “We are thrilled that our new Quiet Room will be installed at Eden Park in time for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™. Having dedicated spaces and solutions, such as a ‘Quiet Room’ that can help a person who finds crowds, noise and smell overwhelming, will enrich the Eden Park experience for everyone, and enable a group of people who may not have had the chance to attend live sport and entertainment events before.”

Said Stirling Hinchliffe, the Queensland Minister for Sport, of the Brisbane Stadium upgrades, “This unmissable event will be the biggest FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in history, and these upgrades will ensure that fans of all abilities can see the game’s greatest female players in action live.”

The former professional footballer Kaine Sheppard, who organizes ‘Quiet Rooms’ through his foundation, will coordinate Stadium Australia’s ‘Quiet Room’ in collaboration with FIFA – “I am so proud to have worked with FIFA on the ‘Quiet Rooms’ for the Women’s World Cup. It’s an awesome goal achieved to be able to provide this space for families to use during the biggest women’s sporting event in the world.”

To access the ‘Quiet Rooms’, fans can find a member of the Volunteer Team in each stadium who can show them to the rooms. No special tickets or payments are required.

In addition to the ‘Quiet Rooms’, sensory bags will be available at all the 10 stadiums hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Australia and Aotearoa (the contemporary Māori-language name for New Zealand) New Zealand. The bags will include noise-cancelling headphones, fidget devices and emotive cards to support with communication about feelings. These bags will be available during the game, and then returned so that they can be sanitized and reused at the next match.

FIFA is providing training to the staff and volunteers on how to offer the best experience possible to people with sensory needs.

Services for people with sensory needs are one aspect of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Accessibility Plan. For more information on other accessible features and services such as audio-descriptive commentary, please visit FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Accessibility Information.

Tickets for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ are on sale now from $20 per adult and $10 per child from FIFA.com/tickets.

Zürich (Switzerland)-based the Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA) is the international governing body of association football, beach soccer and futsal. It was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Māori is not only the native language of New Zealand, but also the native people of New Zealand.

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