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Cutting-edge New Facility at Glendale Set to Get the Most Out of Athletes


Cutting the ribbon on the new facility.
Cutting the ribbon on the new facility.

Hunter Sports Centre is raising the bar on athlete performance in the Hunter with the opening of a cutting-edge new facility at the Glendale site.

 

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser, Member for the Hunter Dan Repacholi MP and Member for Wallsend Sonia Hornery MP cut the ribbon on the cutting-edge new Facility at Glendale building on Tuesday.

 

Hunter Sports Centre has partnered with the University of Newcastle to operate the facility, with student and academic sports scientists using the latest equipment and techniques to test, benchmark and improve performance.

 

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said the testing at the facility would be delivered by a team of university staff working in exercise and sports science.

 

“This is a fantastic example of how our university is not just about classrooms but is out there making a difference in the community,” Professor Zelinsky said.

 

“This is the kind of partnership we want. It benefits the people of Lake Macquarie and beyond and it also gives our students the chance to work in a hands-on way before they join the workforce and makes them highly employable graduates.”

 

Hunter Sports Centre General Manager Brendan Barrett said the facility would seek to recruit local sports clubs, schools and other organisations hoping to learn more about their athletic performance and work out ways to improve it.

 

“We will be using the latest technology and research, but this new centre isn’t just for top-echelon athletes,” he said.

 

“It will cater to everyone from high school students learning about human movement, physical activity and sports to professional sportspeople who want to take their performance to the next level.”

 

“Elite-level competition nowadays often comes down to hundredths of a second or millimetres, so having the best preparation is essential.”

 

“Athlete testing is the start-line to benchmark performance and, based on that data, design a program for improvement.”

 

The facility is named after Dr Trevor Height, whose association with Hunter Sports Centre spans almost 30 years as an athlete, coach, sports administrator and manager.

 

Dr Height said he was “stunned” when he found out the new facility would be named in his honour.

 

“It was completely out of the blue, and I am still pinching myself at being given this amazing recognition,” he said.

 

“There is no comparable service available to sports people in our region, and with the University of Newcastle on board to manage this facility, we will be a key plank in allowing more athletes to pursue their dreams.”

 

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the facility was the latest milestone in the $52 million Hunter Sports Centre expansion, which will also include a new NSW Trampoline Centre of Excellence, a sport and community centre, gym and extra car parking.

 

“It’s another step towards delivering a world-class sports facility right here in Lake Mac,” she said.

 

Federal Member for Hunter Dan Repacholi said the expansion would provide pathways for athletes to pursue their dreams, and aligned with the government’s goal to promote healthy, active lifestyles throughout the community.

 

“The community had been calling for this facility and I am proud to be part of a government that delivers for the Hunter,” he said.

 

“Sport is so valuable to the community for health and wellness, as well as a contributor to the local economy, meaning the impacts of this facility will be far-reaching.”

 

Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley said sport was integral to the region, from the grassroots to top levels.

 

“It’s always great to see the levels of government work together to deliver for the Hunter, and that’s what’s happened here,” she said.

 

“With these facilities, we say to our athletes: ‘We’ll give you the best there is’.”

 

“We’re proud to make this happen for them in the Hunter.”

 

Member for Wallsend Sonia Hornery MP said she was pleased the NSW Government had contributed $1 million to the testing facility.

 

“This crucial partnership between the University of Newcastle and the Hunter Sports Centre will deliver great results for our local athletes as well as attracting athletes from the broader region,” she said.

 

The new testing facility includes ‘VO2 max’ testing equipment that is usually difficult to access outside university environments.

 

Mr Barrett said that would be particularly useful for serious recreational athletes involved in cycling, triathlon, running and swimming.

 

It would also provide a setting for high school students studying everything from biomechanics to anatomy and sports physiology.

 

“The facility will also complement existing allied health services offered locally, such as physiotherapy and sports nutrition,” Mr Barrett said.

 

Find out more about the Hunter Sports Centre expansion at lakemac.com.au.

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