Hunter Sports Centre at Glendale will be home to a $10 million Trampoline Centre of Excellence if plans unveiled by Lake Macquarie City Council on Friday become a reality.
The proposed expansion of the existing gymnasium, which was touted by Gymnastics NSW in mid-2017, would allow the region to be a hub for major events, sports tourism and a range of fitness programs.
Council has applied to the state government for $7 million from the Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund, while it will contribute the remaining $3 million.
The centre will have a 12-metre ceiling height, seating for 450 spectators and a 1500 square-metre arena with nine trampolines.
Gynmastics NSW chief executive, Aaron Bloomfield, says the upgrade would allow the region’s strong gymnastics presence to grow even further.
“Trampolining in the Hunter area has been successful for a period of time,” he said.
“However either in the Hunter, within NSW or indeed Australia, there hasn’t been a centre of this scale to respect the contributions of the athletes and their coaches.
“Gymnastics is growing at about eight to ten per cent each year, we’re now the fourth largest sport for children under the age of 14 according to AusPlay statistics and centres like this are going to provide increased opportunities for participation.”
Australian trampoline champion Ty Swadling, who trains at Belmont High School with temporary equipment, says the centre would benefit athletes from the Hunter and beyond.
“In Lake Macquarie, we have a number of national squad members, passionate coaches and a huge interest in the sport,” he said. “To marry that up with a facility of equal high performers, would be amazing.”
Lake Macquarie mayor, Kay Fraser, believes the upgrade will make the region the national home of the Olympic sport and boost the visitor economy.
“We are expecting the centre to generate more than $2.5 million a year in visitor expenditure, which will be a significant boost to regional tourism and will promote our city as a premier sports destination,” Cr Fraser said.
“It will also be a valuable community asset, promoting healthy lifestyles through community-based participation programs.”
The Trampoline Centre of Excellence will also cater for existing ‘rebound therapy’ programs used by people with disabilities or mobility issues.
The upgrade forms part of a $30 million masterplan for Hunter Sports Centre, which aims to double the annual patronage of the sports complex.
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