Ash Hewson says Allianz Stadium sub-standard for women athletes

“Having to be in the change rooms outside the stadium has a real impact in terms of your preparation for a match. You’re feeling like you’re not on the same footing as the men.”

Built in 1987, the stadium has only two team dressing rooms, both of which were fitted out with urinals only, and no toilet cubicles or showers with doors. For a venue that hosted the combined men’s and women’s Sydney Sevens tournament two years running, as well as the 2018 Super double header, it was woefully inadequate. The SCG Trust also had to knock back NRL Women’s Premiership finals matches in the tournament’s inaugural season.

Hewson was invited on to an advisory panel when planning was under way for a new stadium on the site of the 44,000-seat Allianz. That panel also pointed out there were only 48 women’s cubicles across the entire stadium, poor baby-change facilities and no pram storage.

The Sydney Sevens was held at Allianz Stadium three years in a row and as a combined men’s and women’s event in 2017 and 2018. Credit:AAP

“I think it’s great they’re redoing it,” Hewson said. “I understand it does cost money and people say the same thing about fixing up roads and tunnels – that funds could be better allocated to things that are more important. I understand that.

“But I think this is a really important side of the issue that gets overlooked, giving the city a stadium that is inclusive of women athletes, women as fans, mothers and families.”


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