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Designing for women sports: Don’t segment us, include us!

featured in sb 2/2024
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“Design for all” as a key vector of sports facility development in Australia

published in sb 2/2024

The importance of inclusivity and accessibility for sports facilities is growing rapidly during the past few years. This growth is well-fed not only by impressive achievements of the Paralympic sports movement and significantly increased interest to the female sport, but also by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations members in 2015, in which inclusive design affects six categories, including Economic Impact, Future Proofing, Health and Wellness, Social Impact, Equality and Equity and Opportunity.

On the back of the two Australian sports venues Brisbane Lions Brighton Homes Arena and The Home of the Matildas, Populous Senior Associate Dr Irina Akhmanova de­scribes the impact of the integration of fe­male sports in day-to-day life of the elite and community sports ­societies, showing the commercial and social benefits from this integration.

Author: Dr Irina Akhmanova, Senior Associate, Populous Singapore

Akhmanova Whitepaper

Photo: Populous

First purpose-built AFLW arena: Brisbane Lions Brighton Homes Arena

Designing for women Akhmanova

Photo: Populous

The Brisbane Lions Brighton Homes Arena (BHA) is a unique example of a sports and entertainment venue seamlessly integrating elite sporting and community-focused elements to create a destination precinct in an emerging urban environment.

In recent years, the rapid rise of the AFLW competition has led to a need for a dedicated playing arena, as well as expansion of the current high performance training facilities to accommodate both male and female elite athletes and bring them up to date with competition standards.

The Brighton Homes Arena is a 9,000-seat boutique community arena utilised for AFLW Queensland along with hosting representative matches and as a dedicated place for junior development. It is the first AFLW arena designed to host professional matches at a new home, rather than retrofitting an existing AFL ground.


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