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GOLD for The Trusts Stadium in SportAccess

GOLD for The Trusts Stadium in SportAccess

Do you know someone with a disability who wants to go to a community gym, attend sporting and cultural events, or participate in sport? Let them know about The Trusts Stadium – everyone is welcome!

Over the past six months, The Trusts Stadium (home of Sport Waitakere) has been participating in Halberg Trust SportAccess. This is a quality assurance mark that identifies this facility as being inclusive of and accessible to all of the community, including people with a disability. The Trusts Stadium is the first facility in New Zealand to complete this process, and has been rewarded with the GOLD award, which reflects its significant commitment to welcoming and including the whole community.

The Trusts Stadium aims to be an icon for Waitakere, a place for everyone in the community to gather and enjoy a wide range of cultural, community, corporate and sporting events. Chief Executive, Simon Wickham, was eager to get involved in SportAccess, and has found the process valuable in identifying what needs to be done to become a sustainably inclusive facility.

The Halberg Trust developed SportAccess in partnership with ASB Trust. Since the launch of this initiative in June 2005, many clubs and facilities have signed up in order to work towards identifying and enhancing sustainable inclusive sport and recreation opportunities.

The process involves completing a Self-Review, to identify strengths and weaknesses, and initiating a ‘BarrierFree Audit’ of the facility. From here, gaps in service and programme provision and/or physical barriers are identified, and the project team can develop a Disability Action Plan (DAP). A DAP outlines the actions and practices that the club/facility will implement, and can include such things as upgrades to the facility, training for staff and coaches to ensure people with a disability are made to feel welcome, and the development of inclusive checklists to ensure events are accessible.

Simon, who has worked with Jody Moran, Sport Waitakere Sport Opportunity Adviser, through SportAccess says, ““We made a commitment in the design to try and be as accommodating as possible to everyone in our community. This process has been really valuable as the operational step of assessing how good we are achieving that aim. The support of the Halberg Trust and Jody Moran of Sport Waitakere has been excellent as was the input of Vivian Naylor of CCS who conducted our barrier free audit.

It’s been a really practical approach from looking at the physical environment and making small changes to our facility, to putting all of our staff through disability awareness training.

SportAccess has opened our eyes so we can make sure everyone can be included, and our Disability Action Plan reinforces this. I am confident that The Trusts Stadium is now equipped to meet the needs of people with a disability, whether they are here to attend an event, or have a work-out at Momentum gym.”

The official presentation of the award took place on Monday 4 December 2006 (photo attached). The event was attended by Sir Murray Halberg and Councillor Judy Lawley along with 30 representatives from various organisations.

Ends

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