FRZA! Foundation launches stand G
On the 8th of January, KRC Genk welcomed 24,000 frenzied supporters for the match against Club Brugge. Fireworks, flames, banging speakers and singing supporters. Great for the atmosphere, but too overwhelming for people with e.g. high sensitivity or autism to experience a football match live. With the launch of Tribune G, a secluded stand behind glass, the club is launching a low-incentive alternative. In combination with the wheelchair stand and the blind stand, this immediately makes the Cegeka Arena the most inclusive stadium in Belgium.
A sold-out Cegeka Arena was ablaze yesterday for the topper against Club Brugge. But for the first time ever in Belgian football, 31 children, young people and adults suffering from autism or high sensitivity were also able to attend the match in a low-stimulation room.
“We got the idea from the English league, where Manchester City and Arsenal already set up specific rooms so that e.g. children with high sensitivity can experience the match in an adapted context.”
“We are now also introducing that concept in our stadium and thus our league. On the fourth floor of our main building, we are exploiting a grandstand area behind glass to allow people to follow the match in appropriate conditions with low stimulation. For the next five games, the stands are already full with people who can finally come and experience a match. In the future, it will be possible to apply through the FRZA! Foundation to sign up to obtain tickets.”Niel Janssen, Community Coordinator at KRC Genk
KRC Genk is not at its experimental stage when it comes to inclusive football experiences. For many years, the stadium has had suitable facilities for home and away supporters in wheelchairs to experience the game. In 2012, the club launched the Belgian first of a “Blind Tribune”, where blind and visually impaired people can still experience and witness the match with the help of headphones and specifically adapted live match coverage. The addition of Tribune G, a low-incentive stand, once again opens new doors for a specific target group in our society.
“KRC Genk is known for its inclusiveness, strong operation towards society and the many initiatives we undertake in which we create a “return for society”. We are therefore proud to once again unpack a first and thus become the most inclusive stadium in Belgian football. “Erik Gerits, General Director of KRC Genk