The Geelong Cats’ Sensory Zone will again be open on match days in 2021, beginning with Sunday’s NAB AFL Women’s match between the Cats and North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos.
The Sensory Zone, which was opened in 2019 as Australia’s first permanent sensory zone for all events, is made available on match days for those with sensory needs.
The space consists of a small sensory room with a larger quiet space, and is designed to enable guests to feel comfortable and in control during their time at GHMBA Stadium.
Guests are welcome to visit the zone before, during or after the game, with the room open from the moment gates open, which will be 11am on Sunday.
The Sensory Zone is located in the Players Stand, accessible via the ground-floor concourse.
Although stadiums will be zoned as part of 2021’s COVID-Safe arrangements, guests from any section of the ground will be able to access the Sensory Zone, with match day staff able to escort anyone needing assistance to find the room.
Sensory Bags and lap mats will also be available for hire free of charge on the day and can be picked up from three locations at the ground: Sensory Zone (ground floor Players Stand), Welcome Desk (ground level Brownlow Stand) and the first aid room in the Ford Stand.
Sensory Bags include items such as noise-cancelling headphones, fidget devices and glare-reducing sunglasses.
There is also a downloadable social story that has been developed by the Geelong Cats and Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, with professional support from Deakin University.
It aims to show guests what they may see and experience during a Cats home game, and has photographs and simple text.
For more information or to download the social story, see the Sensory FAQs here.