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On yer marks: Hunter Sports Centre expansion begins

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Lake Macquarie’s $52 million Hunter Sports Centre (HSC) in Glendale is poised for a major development, with the finish line less than two years away. 

Once completed, the Stockland Drive facility will put the city on a podium usually reserved for nationally significant sporting venues.  

Not only will HSC house an athletics track and gymnastics centre, but it will also become the new NSW Trampoline Centre of Excellence, house an athlete testing facility, a sport and community centre, and a gym, as well as additional car parking spaces. 

sporting complex
Hunter Sports Centre – cafe – artist’s impression 2023

The expansion is thanks to a $10.96 million commitment from the federal government, as well as $13.5 million from its state counterpart through its Centre of Excellence Fund and Regional Sport Facility Fund. 

The construction will be led by Sydney-based group Grindley. 

It will be carried out in three stages. 

The first phase includes an already-completed new athlete warm-up area, and a testing facility due for completion by October. 

Hunter Sports Centre – foyer – artists impression 2023

The second involves construction of a new 4,500sqm, three-storey sport and community centre, including community, meeting and function rooms, a commercial kitchen and cafe, and a health and fitness centre. 

Stage three will deliver Australia’s only Trampoline Centre of Excellence, including a 1,300sqm arena with seating for 400 and a 12m-tall ceiling. 

The expansion would meet the needs of the region’s growing population, with the upgraded centre welcoming almost 600,000 visitors a year. 

Hunter Sports Centre expansion officially begins – Wednesday 26 April 2023

Lake Macquarie City mayor Kay Fraser, federal Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Kristy McBain, Hunter MP Dan Repacholi and NSW Minister for the Hunter Tim Crakanthorp visited the site on Wednesday to formally kick off the project. 

Cr Fraser said the centre had countless benefits for the city. 

“This facility will encourage healthy and active lifestyles, create new pathways for local athletic talent and provide a venue for national and international athletics and trampolining competitions,” she said. 

Hunter Sports Centre – front – artist’s impression 2023

Ms McBain agreed. 

“I am delighted to be in the Hunter to see first-hand how investment in major community sporting infrastructure can be a real game-changer for regional communities,” she said. 

“I look forward to watching the expanded and upgraded Hunter Sports Centre brought to life over the course of construction.” 

NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said access to state-of-the-art spaces, particularly in regional areas, was vital for the development of athletes. 

“It gives them the best opportunity for success as they compete on both the national and international stage,” he explained.  

“Creating multi-purpose facilities at our Centres of Excellence will help bridge the gap between elite athletes and our grassroots sporting communities, providing recreational and sporting opportunities for the people of NSW.”  

Hunter Sports Centre – gym – artist’s impression 2023

 

Mr Crakanthorp said the Hunter had a rich history of producing sporting champions. 

“We want to keep that momentum going,” he stated.

“Access to state-of-the-art facilities shouldn’t be about your postcode, and I’m thrilled that a regional area will soon have this amazing, upgraded facility at its doorstep.” 

Hunter Sports Centre general manager Brendan Barrett said the centre would host participants of all abilities, complementing its successful gymnastics program. 

“Athletes will be able to progress from beginner to elite accessing a new range of services including athlete testing, strength and conditioning and, of course, trampolining,” he said. 

“The Hunter Sports Centre team is working closely with Council to ensure we manage any growing pains that accompany construction. Every effort will be made to achieve business-as-usual.”  

The expansion is expected to be completed by late 2024. 

Hunter Sports Centre – drone footage
Hunter Sports Centre

Timeline:

FEB 2023: HSC ripe for $42million expansion

FEB 2023: Athletes praise world-class HSC

MAY 2022: HSC scouting new GM

OCT 2021: Funds awarded to HSC upgrade

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