Fan Experience

‘Child-Friendly Stadium’ project completed in Germany

Featured image credit: Kindernothilfe/City-Press

A new guide has been published with the aim of creating child-friendly environments across football stadiums in Germany.

The Kinderfreundliches Stadion (Child-Friendly Stadium) project has been launched by children’s charity Kindernothilfe, non-profit association In Safe Hands, and KickIn!, a specialist advice centre for inclusion in football.

The project, which has received funding from the German Football League (DFL), launched at the beginning of 2022 and has now been completed.

Over the past two years, children and young people who support Hertha Berlin, VfL Bochum and Werder Bremen have been working on a guide for clubs to make their stadiums more child-friendly and inclusive.

One of the participants, 10-year-old Johnny, said there should be separate cash registers for children at stadiums, while 13-year-old Elina said that signs to seats could be more visible and suggested that some seats in the family sections could be higher than others to give children a better view of the pitch.

Other issues raised include sinks that are too high in stadium toilets and a lack of quality seating options for children in wheelchairs.

Kindernothilfe board member Carsten Montag said: “They have a right to participate and are the experts in child-friendliness and inclusion. With their experiences and opinions, they have contributed to the successful outcome of the guide.”

Thomas Schneider, head of fan affairs at the DFL, added: “The ideas and suggestions put forward are very valuable and should be taken into account when planning and implementing infrastructural measures so that child-friendly conditions are considered at events right from the start.

“All fans should feel welcome in Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga stadiums, and this naturally also applies to the youngest spectators.”

The DFL has supported the project through its ‘Pool for the Promotion of Innovative Football and Fan Culture’ fund.