Pro League club KRC Genk has furthered its claim of offering the most inclusive football stadium experience in Belgium by opening the first sensory room at a domestic venue.
‘Tribune G’ debuted at the Cegeka Arena for Sunday’s 3-1 win over Club Brugge, with 31 youngsters and adults who suffer from autism or sensory conditions using the room.
“We started to get the inspiration from the English league, where Manchester City and Arsenal have already set up specific areas so that, for example, children with high sensitivity can experience the match in an adapted context,” said Niel Janssen, community coordinator at KRC Genk.
“We are now also introducing that concept in our stadium and therefore also in our competition. On the fourth floor of our main building, we use a grandstand section behind glass to allow people to watch the match in appropriate circumstances without any stimuli.
“For the next five matches, the stands are already full of people who can finally come and experience a match. In the future it will be possible to use the FRZA! Foundation to sign up to get tickets.”
In 2012, Genk launched the Belgian first of a ‘Blindentribune’, where blind and partially sighted fans can experience the game with the help of headphones and specifically adapted live match coverage.
Erik Gerits, general manager of KRC Genk, added: “KRC Genk is known for its inclusiveness, strong impact on society and the many initiatives we undertake in which we create a ‘return for society’. We are therefore proud to once again present a first and become the most inclusive stadium in Belgian football.”