The Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne has opened upgraded recovery facilities with cutting-edge ice baths designed for athletes of all abilities.
Three individual ice bathrooms, with five separate ice baths, have replaced a single, elevated ice bathroom with four individual baths. Baths are raised for easy seated transfer, reducing dependency for hoists or staff assistance. Camera feeds remotely monitor player safety with pool system stop buttons near baths for use in an emergency. There are automatic sliding doors for wheelchair access, and a dry treatment zone.
“Our vision was to create a space that caters to the needs of athletes while upholding the highest standards of accessibility and prioritising dignity,” Melbourne & Olympic Parks director of infrastructure, Nathan Dallas said.
The use of ice baths is crucial to a player’s cool down and recovery, helping reduce pain, inflammation, and avoid heat exhaustion. The water temperature at the facility is set to 11.5⁰.
Tennis Australia and Get Skilled Access (GSA), founded by Wheelchair Tennis Grand Slam champion Dylan Alcott, were involved in the refurbishment.