Female Friendly Change Rooms at Sporting Facilities

Women in the ACT are the most physically active in Australia with 68% aged 15 and over participating in sport or undertaking some physical activity at least three times a week (Ausplay, 2016). To support continued growth in female participation, it is important that sport and recreation facilities across the Territory are inclusive and comfortable for all to use.

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Design Considerations

Needs Analysis

The provision of clean and hygienic change rooms which support the needs of female participants is critical at all levels of sport, from grassroots through to elite. There are a number of things to consider when designing new or refurbishing existing sports change rooms including:

  • the number of shower and toilet cubicles required to meet user needs now and into the future;
  • how many participants per team will utilise the change rooms;
  • the space and amenities required for an officials room; and
  • any relevant design standards (including disability access).

Safety and Privacy

A safe and welcoming environment is a critical component of any change room design. Noting this, standard features of a female friendly change room should include:

  • a privacy screen at the entry to the change room
  • individual toilet cubicles*;
  • individual lockable shower cubicles with change seats inside each cubicle
  • appropriately located hygiene disposal points
  • mirror/vanity/shelving for personal items (subject to maintenance and vandalism implications that are considered on a case by case basis);
  • power points for accessories adjacent to wet areas;
  • fold away baby change tables where possible.
  • toilet seats provided on stainless steel units.
  • * Noting that at male public toilets at sportsground pavilions urinals may be provided as a more cost-effective option.

Lighting in the surrounding area, proximity to parking and pedestrian activity are also factors which contribute to safety for sports participants. While not strictly part of change room facilities, these factors should be considered in the design and construction of precincts and facilities.

Where provided, umpire/referee change rooms should also be designed to be female friendly and also in recognition that some sports often have a mix of female and male referees/umpires officiating a single game/event.

Implementation

Any new sporting infrastructure that provides change rooms for participants and officials should adhere to these guidelines. In line with this direction the ACT Government has made funding available under the Sport and Recreation Grants Program for upgrades and refurbishments which bring more local facilities up to these standards.

References

Female Friendly Change Rooms Guide

Female Friendly Sport Infrastructure Guidelines

Ausplay – Participation Data for the Sports Data

Useful Documents

Female Friendly Sport Infrastructure Guidelines

Netball Victoria Facilities Manual

Community Cricket Facility Guidelines

Female Football Club Guide

Disclaimer

The information provided in this document is for your information only. Active Canberra accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the information or your reliance upon it.