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Whether it’s on the field or on the track, for competition or for a bit of fun, sport is an essential part of Australian culture and identity. Sport brings communities together, unites people of different backgrounds and teaches children valuable lessons about teamwork and commitment. Plus, in a world where we’re spending too much time inside looking at screens, playing outside is a rare opportunity for us to connect with each other and get some fresh air. It’s never been more important for councils and schools to provide their communities with safe, comfortable and enjoyable environments that keep people active and healthy. With the right spectator seating and layout, you can turn fields, ovals and pools into enjoyable sports hubs for the entire community. Here are some of our top tips:

 Create a community space

When the whole family can get involved in sport, communities become stronger and feel more closely connected. To achieve this, you’ll have to create a space for spectators to sit back, watch and cheer on the game. It’s essential that the oval, field or courts are easily accessible for families with prams, the elderly and people with disabilities. When choosing spectator seating, be mindful that your fit-out and layout will have logistical consequences – for example, wheelchair settings, grandstands and bench seating with wide walkways and ample room for spectators to move around will make the environment more inclusive. On the other hand, not having enough wheelchair-friendly furniture will discourage active community engagement. Creating a more inclusive space will encourage more people to get outside, fostering a stronger sense of community – so be sure to make this a priority.

Maximise comfort

If you want to maximise the time people are spending outside being active, not only is accessibility important, but so is comfort. Undercover areas are key to keeping communities comfortable in the hot Australian sun. It’s important to remember that materials like pool water, white paint and shiny metal can reflect sun back onto spectators, even under a sturdy aluminium grandstand or a highly UV absorbent umbrella – so be sure to minimise reflective radiation. Plus, while grandstands are effective at seating large numbers of people, benches with built-in backrests are often more comfortable, especially for elderly members of the community, so striking a balance is key. Also, it’s important to take into account factors like water supply, temperature control, noise, ventilation and visibility. After all there’s no point investing in spectator seating if it’s too noisy to hear or hard to see what’s happening on the field, in the pool or on the court. Different types of furniture provide different levels of comfort, so consider a variety of options before making a decision.

Keep it clean  

Clean spaces create happier communities. While the priority often falls on keeping the actual pool, soccer field, cricket pitch or tennis court pristine, spectator areas are often under cared-for. It’s essential to surround your sporting environment with clean and hygienic seating for the community. When purchasing benches and grandstands, you should choose materials that are easy to clean and chemically protected against vandalism. Keep in mind that while strong materials like aluminium might cost more initially, they’ll help keep cleaning costs down in the long term. Also, to avoid rubbish build-up, bins should be visible, accessible and functional. We recommend bolt-down bins with surrounds as these are pain-free to use but also keep rubbish from blowing away. Providing a clean and comfortable place for spectators is key to bringing the community together, so be sure to regularly maintain and monitor your spectator areas.

We believe Australian communities need dynamic, healthy and vibrant outdoor spaces to keep us fit and healthy. As a wholly Australian owned and operated business, nobody understands the needs of our schools and councils like Felton Industries. We’re committed to providing the highest quality outdoor aluminium furniture solutions, ensuring the most comfortable experiences possible. For more information about outdoor furniture tailored to your unique needs get in touch with our friendly team today.

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