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Sussex Cricket Unveils New Sensory Room

Photo credit: Sussex Cricket

Sussex Cricket has announced the opening of a brand-new Sensory Room at The 1st Central County Ground in Hove.

The room will provide a safe and quiet setting for families with neurodiverse children to enjoy the game of cricket that we all love. 

The new pitch-facing room is fitted out with colourful fibre optics, bubble tubes, activities and soft furnishing, creating a calming atmosphere for those supporters who might otherwise feel uncomfortable attending busy matches.

The club says the opening of the Sensory Room represents another step in its plans to make Hove as an inclusive environment as possible.

A soft launch took place during the Sharks’ opening Blast fixture against Gloucestershire on Friday, May 31, when a handful of spectators were invited to test-run the facility.
Initially, the Sensory Room will be available for spectators to book at each of the T20 Blast fixtures held at Hove, with scope for this to expand should the demand arise.
Nathaniel McDonnell and his daughter Scarlett were the first to experience the room on the night:

“My daughter’s needs are complex with limited vocabulary and an emotional imbalance; we’ve attended multiple games over the last couple of years and I’ve been struggling with my own anxiety because of certain incidents that have happened due to her being overwhelmed.

“Sussex’s initiative has meant we were able to spend the evening and properly enjoy the game. Well done to all involved and thank you.”

Sam Holder, People Director for Sussex Cricket added:

“We are delighted that we are able to expand our services and facilities to allow a more welcoming environment, which enables more families to enjoy matches at The 1st Central County Ground. 
“It was lovely to meet Nathaniel and Scarlett and we look forward to welcoming them back, plus many more to Sussex Cricket.”

The new Sensory Room is just one of a number of improvements The 1st Central County Ground has recently made to improve accessibility at the home of Sussex Cricket.

The Club recently opened its new Changing Places Facility, a larger accessible changing room for disabled people, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.

In 2023, Sussex also opened its new Multi-Faith Room, a space that can be used on match days by any of the Sussex players, coaches, staff and all spectators should they need a private space to either pray, or simply spend some quiet time in contemplation.

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