VANCOUVER, BC – On October 29, patients admitted to the new Teck Acute Care Centre at BC Children’s Hospital will have the chance to heal in an immersive play space inspired by Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The spectacular Whitecaps FC-themed playroom is part of a $1 million commitment to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation (BCCHF) made by Whitecaps FC in 2015.
“We are absolutely thrilled with how the playroom turned out and that it will contribute in such a meaningful way to the healing process of the kids at BC Children’s,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. “Uniting and inspiring our communities is our core purpose at Whitecaps FC and this partnership with BC Children's Hospital Foundation has enabled us to create a legacy with the funds we’ve donated. Together with our fans we look forward to continuing to enrich the lives of patients who are treated at this hospital.”
Located adjacent to the stunning North Roof Garden on the sixth floor’s medical/surgical in-patient unit, the Whitecaps FC playroom is a vibrant space that is “integral to the healing process” for recovering patients, according to BCCHF director of marketing and communications Surina Sproul.
“Part of the recovery process is having kids get up and move,” Sproul said. “And often they’re not feeling very well. So it’s finding things that will motivate them to want to get up, want to leave their rooms and interact with other kids. Having these play spaces where toys and games and arts and crafts can happen, as well as bringing the spirit and fun of Whitecaps here, is such a key part of this for kids.”
The playroom has a number of exciting features. Among them, there are three interactive ‘Caps-themed whiteboards that allow kids to express themselves and get into the spirit of the game by colouring Whitecaps FC mascot Spike, designing jerseys, and creating their own scarves.
There’s also a cozy built-in reading nook framed by the peaks of the Whitecaps FC logo – meant to provide a feeling of comfort and security for the patients and their families.
And, perhaps most notably, there’s a mini soccer pitch mapped out on the floor backed by a massive mural of BC Place, which makes it feel like you’re inside the stadium. The pitch will have a virtual soccer match projected onto it, allowing kids to actually kick around a virtual ball, to promote movement and activity amongst the patients.
“This is the most meaningful project we’ve worked on as a club,” said Mikkel Strojer, Whitecaps FC’s vice-president of brand and fan engagement. “Every detail was carefully thought out with the patients and their families in mind and we hope they can use the space as a true escape from the challenges they face on a daily basis.”
The ‘Caps playroom is part of a larger BCCHF initiative called the Children’s Healing Experience Project – designed to enhance the patient experience and healing process through technology and purpose-built art, murals, sculptures, and the likes.
“One of the things we know is that the space or environment that a child is in can really affect their state of mind and this is true for families as well,” Sproul said. “So one of the key goals of the Children’s Healing Experience Project was really to look at how the environment through art, installations, and technology could help do things like reduce the sensation of pain, reduce the need for sedation, speed recovery times, and also reduce the amount of anxiety kids have when they’re in the hospital.”
BC Children’s Hospital has been a longstanding partner of Whitecaps FC.
All proceeds from the club’s 50-50 program are donated to the hospital and the team makes regular visits to brighten up the days of patients and their families.
Now, they’ll be able to do so in a fancy new space.