Changing Places Toilets at Wimbledon: A ‘How To’ Guide for Sporting Venues and Stadia
Wimbledon, home to the UK’s most famous tennis tournament, will open its doors to visitors again next week (albeit with Covid restrictions).
In a boost for accessibility, disabled visitors will have access to two Changing Places toilets on-site, the world-famous sports venue having installed both since 2018.
Changing Places toilets within sporting & leisure facilities give disabled people better access to sport both as participants and supporters. Inclusion is becoming ever more important in the sporting world and access to sport is now a top priority.
So how did the planning and design process work for Wimbledon? And what do sports venues need to consider generally when thinking about the installation of Changing Places toilets for their visitors and supporters?
CHANGING PLACES FOR SPORTS VENUES: THINGS TO CONSIDER
The team at Aveso advised Wimbledon when they were first planning the installation of their toilets. As well as giving guidance on equipment requirements and layout, they also discussed broader considerations, and these are relevant for most sports and leisure venues:
Under the Government’s new Changing Places rules, which came into force in January 2021, sport and leisure buildings with a gross floor area more than 5000m2 are required to install a Changing Places toilet if it is a new build or the building is undergoing a major refurbishment. Wimbledon installed their Changing Places toilets well before the new legislation came into force.
For more information visit www.gov.uk
Access and Signage
It is important that Changing Places toilets are easy to access within sports venues, and include clear signage to direct visitors to the facility. Wimbledon’s two Changing Places toilets are clearly indicated on the site map and on signage.
Checks and Maintenance
It is important that regular checks are made to Changing Places toilets at sports venues. This is to ensure that all equipment is in working order and ready for
next use. Large volumes of people may be using the toilet,
so hygiene and working equipment is paramount.
The door into one of Wimbledon’s Changing Places toilets
General Public Access
Think about whether you can make your Changing Places toilet accessible by both visitors and the general public. Changing Places toilets can offer a safe and accessible facility for the local community as well as your venue. Wimbledon’s Changing Places toilets are available to visitors to the venue but not to the general public.
Extra Space for Sports Equipment
Changing Places facilities provide extra space for equipment and carers, however, an added room may be necessary for users with sports equipment. This was not deemed necessary at Wimbledon.
The bespoke ‘lawn’ green changing table cover
Consider Including Showers
Some sporting facilities may require a shower in a Changing Places facility so that users have the option to shower after they exercise. Wimbledon already has showers which are suitable for disabled players.
Branding and Theming
Think about ways you can tie in your Changing Places toilet with your brand. Wimbledon’s Changing Places toilets feature a white colour scheme, with one of the Changing Tables designed with a bespoke ‘lawn’ green padded cover.
As well as considering access to your toilet, it is also important to consider placement within the venue and whether it is best placed to accommodate people with disabilities. Wimbledon’s two Changing Places toilets
Equality Act 2010
Consider this legislation as well as the newer Changing Places legislation mentioned earlier. The guidance in the Sport England Publication ‘Accessible Sports Facilities’ requires a CP toilet to be provided in sports centres with a nine-court sports hall or larger and in swimming pools and leisure centres with a 25metre or longer pool it is also recommended for four court and six court sports halls and 20 metre pools.
The Wimbledon site map
The team at Aveso are passionate about Changing Places toilets. They have supported the official Changing Places campaign since 2013, and can provide free, expert advice on all aspects of the Changing Places planning and design process.
The products used within the Wimbledon Changing Places were manufactured and supplied by Astor Bannerman.
ABOUT ASTOR BANNERMAN
Astor Bannerman offer the full range of products specified by Changing Places regulations, including fixed and mobile changing tables, hoists, height adjustable washbasins, toilets and accessories. They are always developing new products, and are proud to have developed the Astor Invincible, the first changing table designed specifically for Changing Places toilets.