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Water ramp a launching pad for Winter athlete pathways

26 March 2019

Australian Institute of Sport CEO Peter Conde says a world-leading water ramp facility in Queensland will literally be a launching pad for the next generation of Australia’s Winter Olympians.

An artist’s impression of the water ski-jump facility planned for Sleeman Sports Complex at Chandler, Brisbane

The Australian Government, supported by agencies the AIS and Sport Australia, is investing $4.5 million in the new $6.5million water ramp facility for freestyle skiing that will be only the second of its kind in the world to be available year-round. The collaborative project involves a partnership with the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, Australian Olympic Committee and Queensland Government.

Freestyle skiing, including aerial skiing and moguls, has been Australia’s most successful winter discipline since Alisa Camplin won gold in aerial skiing at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

Conde said the AIS was focused on developing athlete pathways and the new water ramp facility would enable Australia to develop more potential Olympians.

“Australia has produced multiple Olympic gold medallists and world champions despite our training disadvantages, now this facility will open these sports up to more young athletes provide the opportunity to develop future generation of potential champions,” Conde said.

“A key feature of the facility is that there will be different-sized ramps to cater for a variety of standards so athletes can progress.

“Our Winter athletes typically have to spend up to 10 months a year overseas for training and competition, but now they will have a facility that provides them with year-round access right here in our own backyard.

“Our current Australian athletes will be able to train on the completed facility before the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, but the impact of this facility will be a game-changer for years to come.”

Conde said the facility, to be built at the Sleeman Sports Complex at Chandler, Brisbane, was a fantastic collaborative effort across sport.

“This is a great example of how sport can work in partnership with multiple levels of Government to achieve a great result,” Conde said.

“The AIS has also boosted its investment to the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia by almost $2.3 million over two years for the development of our future Winter Olympians.”

Gabi Ash
Australian winter athlete Gabi Ash in action at Lake Placid, USA
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