The NZ Government has stepped up to make important changes, as the country prepares to host one of the world’s premier women’s sporting events.
Sport & Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has stumped up with $2 million to install gender-neutral changing facilities at five venues in time for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2022.
And one former player has described it as a game changer.
“The simple act of putting the door on the showers, for me, resonates quite a lot,” says former White Fern Liz Green. “It means the female athletes are being thought about and being valued - that can't be underestimated.”
Robertson thinks the move is long overdue.
“This will be a legacy,” says Robertson. “This is a very basic thing in a lot of ways.
“It’s quite surprising and challenging for us that we haven't done it before.”
Green wishes these updated facilities were around when she was playing.
“It was just never a thought to stay behind and have a shower,” she says. “You were always trying to rush away.”
Organisers hope to turn off-field success into on-field wins.
“You can't expect world class cricketers to put on great performances without appropriate facilities,” says World Cup chief executive Andrea Nelson.
Along with Wellington’s Basin Reserve, Hamilton’s Seddon Park, Christchurch’s Hagley Oval, Dunedin’s University Oval and New Zealand's high performance centre will also get the equality upgrade.
“We also recognise our responsibility to have the best possible training facilities, playing facilities and changing facilities,” says Robertson.
The Government has closed the door on outdated facilities once and for all.