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Marvel Stadium partners with Ingles family to launch sensory room
An in-stadium sensory room has been created through the partnership between Melbourne's Marvel Stadium and Joe and Renae Ingles to provide an accessible and inclusive environment for all fans. The sensory room is the latest in a number of additions at Marvel Stadium that reflect their goals of inclusiveness and accessibility.
The initiative is a deeply personal one for Joe Ingles team player for the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Utah Jazz and his wife, Renae Ingles, team player for Melbourne Vixens, whose three-year-old son, Jacob, was diagnosed with autism in January this year.
The Ingles family found it increasingly difficult to attend each other's games due to the impact of the noise and lighting inside the arenas on their son and regularly use Utah's Vivint Smart Home Arena's sensory room.
Championed by Marvel Stadium and Joe and Renae Ingles, with support from the National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA) Foundation, the sensory room was unveiled at the stadium this week ahead of the Boomers vs USA Basketball games.
The Marvel Stadium sensory room is a quiet and safe space that enables children and adults with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions to deregulate from sensory overload, while still being able to enjoy the gameday experience.
“It will be great knowing that Renae, Jacob and our daughter Milla are all able to watch the game in an environment where they are all comfortable,” noted Joe Ingles.
“Creating a safe space for those with sensory challenges, the sensory room will help get families out of the house to enjoy events that they may have previously been unable to attend and we are proud to have worked with Marvel Stadium to bring a sensory space to the stadium.”
Renae Ingles added: “It is a milestone moment for sport in Victoria, offering more opportunities for families and the wider community who don’t want their children or friends to miss out on the experience of attending a sporting event.”
Marvel Stadium Chief Executive, Michael Green is proud to continue the stadium’s push to offer an inclusive, accessible and memorable experience to all fans, explaining “we are always looking for new ways to make the stadium more fan and family-friendly and the sensory room is a significant step forward in achieving this goal and we are thrilled to partner with Joe and Renae who have helped us achieve this.
“We want Marvel Stadium to be seen as a place where anyone can come and experience an event, we hope that sensory rooms will become a mainstay feature of stadia in Australia.”
Marvel Stadium’s sensory room has been designed and developed by leading US organisation, KultureCity, a non-profit recognised worldwide for using its resources to revolutionise and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs.
KultureCity Chief Operating Officer, Uma Srivastava believes that the Marvel Stadium sensory room will have a big impact on families, commenting "to know that you soon will be able to see families attend a sporting event, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment.
“Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that Marvel Stadium is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”
A plaque dedicated to the Ingles family and their contribution to bringing Marvel Stadium’s sensory room to life will also be installed, recognising the important impact of the space for Victoria’s sensory needs community.
The sensory room is located on level 3 of the stadium and includes bubble tubes which stimulates the visual and auditory senses, activity panels on the walls with various activities, calming lap pads as well as bean bags and comfortable seating for parents.
Over 650 Marvel Stadium staff have undergone significant additional training to ensure they are equipped to work in the sensory room and trained to manage sensory overload within the wider context of the stadium.
Alongside the sensory room, Marvel Stadium is also introducing sensory bags which are available for loan while visiting the stadium, and include noise cancelling headphones, fidget tools and verbal cue cards.
13th August 2019 - Fun and creativity the focus of Marvel Stadium’s new kids zone
25th July 2019 - Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium to host UFC 243
28th June 2019 - Marvel Stadium roof to remain closed for AFL games
4th April 2019 - GMHBA Stadium becomes Australia’s first Sensory Inclusive Stadium
16th August 2017 - New Christchurch Metro Sports facility to feature aquatic sensory room
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