Blacktown City Council, in partnership with Disability Sports Australia, announced funding from the NSW Government to develop a new Disability Sport Centre of Excellence.
The $15 million project, funded by the NSW Government, to be built within Blacktown International Sportspark, will deliver a new multipurpose indoor training facility for athletes with disability, along with bespoke amenities designed to allow athletes to train more often around work, family and educational commitments.
The centre will complement Council’s $100 million Blacktown Exercise Sports and Technology hub, known as BEST, which will open in the Sportspark in early 2023.
Users of the centre will benefit from the facilities and services provided at BEST, including access to medical services, recovery facilities and research collaborations.
The project will be supported by Paralympic sports, to help foster pathways for sporting talent.
Mayor of Blacktown City Tony Bleasdale OAM said Council was proud to partner with Disability Sports Australia to deliver the unique asset for sportspeople of all abilities.
“Blacktown City is a proud sporting City and we have a strong history of success and participation in disability sports at all levels,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
“This partnership with Disability Sports Australia marks an exciting new era for sport and health in Western Sydney, and will provide a boost for generations of athletes to come.
“I hope the centre, its world-class facilities and staff can inspire future athletes to fulfil their potential, and possibly even represent Australia at the 2032 Paralympic Games in Brisbane.”
Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said the NSW Government is investing in community sporting infrastructure through the Centres of Excellence program, which aims to improve talent pathways and community engagement for all sporting codes.
“Our best athletes need the best training facilities, and this centre will not only set a benchmark for the community, but will be an important hub for the development of the next generation of sporting stars across Paralympic and professional sports,” Mr Henskens said.
Chief Executive of Disability Sports Australia Murray Elbourn said the project will be a vital support for new and established disability sport programs across Western Sydney, NSW and Australia.
“The holistic structure of BEST brings great collaboration from health and research education partners to optimise benefits for athletes for specific adaption sports,” Mr Elbourn said.
“I would sincerely like to thank the NSW Government for this grant, which will have a strong impact for disability sport.”
Construction of the new Disability Sport Centre of Excellence will commence this year and is scheduled for completion in late 2024.