Supporting the rise and rise of female athletes

women football player kicking ball

Ensuring every trip is a personal best

It’s great to see women in sport, entertainment and many other industries, are finally finding parity with pay and conditions. Gone are the days when women’s sport teams travelled economy, while the men’s team travelled in business class comfort. Yes, it was a thing! As part of the pursuit of gender equality however, it’s important to recognise that women, as with all elite athletes, quite often have different requirements, priorities, needs and sensitivities. And that’s something the team at Stage and Screen understand.

As a specialist in sport and entertainment travel management, we know what a big difference, the small details make. We recognise that elite athletes and entertainers often have similar needs and take extra care to tailor itineraries to support women and their wellbeing. After all, travellers who are well looked-after, perform better also.

Whether we’re flying the Matildas to the World Cup, or a local muso to WOMAD, our job starts by researching which is the most appropriate airline, class of travel and departure/arrival times. When you need to perform at the highest level, prioritising departure times and routes is more than just looking at convenience. It’s also about choosing a route, especially for international travel, to limit disruption to a traveller’s circadian rhythms and sleep – and one that also helps them to maintain consistent meal patterns. We also try to build in a few days buffer, to allow for recovery time after the trip and to adjust to a new time zone.

Gym set up

Traveller perks worth their weight in gold include lounge access at airports, that provide athletes with room to stretch out and a quiet zone for performers prepping for a tour. Stage and Screen can also secure aircraft aisle seats, allowing travellers to get up and stretch and move around the plane on long flights. While choosing business class can be a good option for those requiring access to more room and specific diets.

Travelling with all the gear for a team, or even just one person, can prove tricky if baggage allowances aren’t factored into the itinerary. Elite athletes and performers travel with an array of luggage from purpose-built bicycles and surfboards to wheelchairs, musical instruments and intricate costumes. Our strong relationships with airline partners, mean we can often negotiate generous sporting and entertainment baggage inclusions for a seamless and cost effective journey.

Managing risk also comes into play for female itineraries – particularly for choice of accommodation and ground transport. Hotels or apartments need to be in ‘safe’ areas, with well-lit and secure access areas. Other considerations for accommodation and ground transport include -:

  • VIP or non-public entrance ways
  • 24-hour reception desk or front entry security
  • Elevators with locked or secure floors
  • Hotels or apartments with women only floors
  • Accredited ground transport providers with female only drivers.
Suitcase at airport with plane taking off

Prioritising wellbeing means athletes may need accommodation with self-servicing kitchen facilities to prepare meals for special dietary requirements, gyms or exercise rooms. Our long-stay apartment accommodation partners can provide spacious rooms, access to a gym and extra rooms for team therapists, including masseurs and physios to treat athletes and dancers during travel. Plus, an all-important laundry, for washing.

Other considerations for female athletes include travelling with medication (some countries have strict regulations around what you can and can’t travel with) and understanding local customs. For example, not adhering to local dress standards can make women the subject of unwanted attention and comments - or even intimidating behaviour.

teammates talking and laughing

When travelling for work, it’s natural to have a lot on your mind, especially when you need to arrive ready to perform. That’s why clients including the Matildas, Swimming Australia, The Australian Ballet and The Australian String Quartet trust us to provide the expert advice and support of a dedicated team who appreciate the nuances of female traveller wellbeing.

For more information contact Stage and Screen.

Contact us today for more travel information on your upcoming sporting event!

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