11 May 2005
ASC announces European centre for Australian athletes
Australia’s elite athletes will soon have access to a permanent European Training Centre that will provide worlds-best support for athletes while in Europe, the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) announced today.
The European Training Centre, in northern Italy, will provide Australian athletes with consistent, high quality and cost effective access to a range of services including accommodation, training facilities, transport and other vital support services.
Australian Sports Commission CEO, Mark Peters said the new facility, an $11 million commitment from the Australian Government in the recent federal budget, would be a key element in the preparation of Australian athletes for future international competition.
‘For years Australian athletes have sought consistent, high quality training and competition in the northern hemisphere, and in particular Europe,’ Mr Peters said. ‘However, the vast distance between Australia and Europe and the expense of travel and accommodation has been an impediment to training and competing there.’
‘The most widely recognised advantage Australian athletes have had to date is access to the world’s best advice and support in technology, sports science and sports medicine thanks to expertise at the AIS and the network of state and territory institutes and academies of sport, ‘ Mr Peters said.
‘The European Training Centre will replicate this Australian innovation and expertise in sports science and sports medicine and establish it in Europe allowing Australia to maintain its competitive advantage when training or competing overseas.’
Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks and Rowing Australia CEO Andrew Dee both praised the ASC and the Australian Government for their commitment to funding the European Training Centre.
‘All our programs have benefited for several years from a similar arrangement in the region, in particular the AIS/Australian Women’s Road Cycling Team which last year produced a world cup champion in Oenone Wood in a European-dominated sport. The benefits are obvious and our squads are looking forward to basing themselves at this facility,’ Fredericks said.
‘Rowing Australia already uses the lake at Varese as our summer training base, so to have a developed infrastructure of support services there including the world’s best sports science and medicine to keep our rowers healthy and competitive will be a huge boost for the sport,’ Dee said.
It is expected design work on the European Training Centre will begin in July 2005 and be complete and ready for AIS and Australian national teams to use in late 2006.
Contact: Simon Langford, ASC Media Manager, 02 6214 1298 or 0418 605 541