Foundation Stone Laid at NSWRL Centre of Excellence
The construction of the NSWRL Centre of Excellence has officially commenced with the Minister for Sport, The Hon. Stuart Ayres MP today laying the Foundation Stone for the high-performance facility.
NSWRL Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM, CEO David Trodden, True Blue Brad Fittler and NSW Interstate player Corban McGregor joined the Minister to celebrate the landmark day.
“The NSWRL Centre of Excellence will provide a massive boost for Rugby League in New South Wales,” Mr Ayres said.
“Sport hubs of this calibre will help to drive the growth and development of players of all abilities – from grassroots to the elite level.”
The NSWRL Centre of Excellence, adjacent to ANZ Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park, will feature a full-sized training field, gymnasium, player recovery facilities and a lecture theatre, as well as the new building for specialised support and the offices of the NSWRL.
“The NSWRL Centre of Excellence will be one of the most sophisticated high-performance facilities of any sport in Australia,” Dr Peponis said.
“It will be a state-of-the-art facility aiming to ensure the future success of Rugby League in NSW. Everyone in the NSWRL family will benefit from being able to use the facility, as well as the specialist sports grounds in the precinct.”
The NSWRL also announced an exciting new partnership agreement with the University of New England (UNE) as the organisation’s university partner.
The relationship will allow the University’s sport and exercise science teaching facilities to base at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence, with UNE providing research and sports science services to NSWRL.
“This is a multi-faceted partnership for us. Our players will benefit physically from the sports science initiatives we’ll be working on with UNE and they’ll also benefit from the extensive education options offered by UNE,” Dr Peponis said.
UNE Chancellor James Harris said: “This partnership presents an innovative way to expand the footprint of UNE into Western Sydney and to provide unique and inspiring opportunities for our sport and exercise science programme.
“Importantly, the profile of NSW Rugby League provides a significant platform to promote the offerings of UNE to a large audience. This partnership will allow us to connect with people involved in grass roots Rugby League in every town in NSW as well as the millions of people who follow the progress of the State of Origin series,”
The NSWRL Centre of Excellence will also adjoin a tunnel, providing direct access to ANZ Stadium, originally built to transfer track and field athletes during the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
The facility will also be the home of Country Rugby League, KARI and the Men of League Foundation.
“Country Rugby League look forward to seeing the completion of the Centre of Excellence in 2018 and are committed to taking up residence for our head offices in the state-of-the-art facility,” CRL CEO Terry Quinn said.
“This project has been strongly supported by our Board and Members and we see the Centre of Excellence benefiting the entire game of Rugby League in the state of New South Wales.”
KARI Founder Paul Ralph is excited about the opportunity to work side by side with NSWRL.
“Our five year strong association with the NSWRL brings us together as partners in the same building. It’s going to be a magnificent building and expect great things to happen from this special partnership,” Ralph said.
Men of League CEO Frank Barrett said: “We are very excited to be a part of the NSWRL Centre of Excellence. It’s wonderful to be in an office space that is Rugby League through all levels. We think it will be a perfect fit.”
The NSWRL Centre of Excellence, supported by the NSW Government, the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Country Rugby League and the National Rugby League, is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.