‘O, how pleased we are to see you!’ — Wellington’s welcome for World Cup fans

Wellington Airport has welcomed the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a giant football placed over the ‘O’ on Wellington’s iconic ‘blown away’ sign.

“We wanted to show our support for this once-in-a-lifetime event in the most visible way possible,” says Wellington Airport chief executive Matt Clarke.

“This is our way of welcoming the teams and many thousands of supporters expected here.”

The football sign is 3.6 metres in diameter and weighs 400 kg. It is made up of two parts; a structural frame which is secured to the main truss, and the football itself which is lined with marine plywood. Black graphics are used to create the ‘panel’ effect of the ball.

It will be auctioned off after World Cup with the proceeds going to Football For All, which fosters inclusion, participation and hauora by encouraging children’s participation in football and futsal.

Main photo: A crane helps lift the football into the Wellington sign. Photo credit: Wellington Airport.

How World Cup visitors will be welcomed to the capital. Photo credit: Wellington Airport.

Warrick Dent, General Manager Events and Experiences, WellingtonNZ says:

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the largest sporting event to ever come to Wellington, and with only a few weeks to go, we can’t wait to welcome the world to our city.

“To have an event of this diversity and scale in Wellington is really something special, and with the world’s eyes on us, we want to inspire the fans who are visiting and invite them to experience all that Wellington has to offer.”

The World Cup begins on July 20 and Wellington is hosting nine games, including a Round of 16 game and quarter-final.

Football For All

The Football For All programme, delivered in partnership between Capital Football and the Wellington Phoenix, fosters inclusion, participation and hauora by using football as a vehicle.

The programme places tamariki and rangatahi from ages six to 17 into football clubs, futsal teams and school teams by removing potential barriers to active play and recreation.

Football For All focuses on the following barriers: registration costs, equipment needs, transportation assistance and communication difficulties.

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