14 June 2016
Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair John Wylie AM says construction of a world-class water-jump training facility on the NSW north coast is a “game-changer” for aspiring Winter Olympic athletes.
In 2013 the ASC contributed funds towards construction of the multi-million dollar training facility at Lennox Head, a partnership with the NSW Government, the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee..
Australia has a rich history in aerial skiing, boasting world and Olympic champions such as Kirstie Marshall, Alisa Camplin, Jacqui Cooper, Lydia Lassila and current world champion Laura Peel.
“Australian athletes have punched far above their weight in this tough sporting arena for many years,” Mr Wylie said. “The perseverance, hard work and success of these pioneering athletes has laid the foundation for this facility, which is a game-changer for future generations of Winter Olympic aspirants.
“Australian athletes have typically had to travel abroad for more than 10 months every year, struggling for access to international facilities that other countries enjoy in their own backyards.
“This is a milestone moment for Australian winter sport. It not only provides our elite athletes with access to a world-class training facility at home, it also opens up pathway opportunities for increased participation and athlete development. We acknowledge the co-funding commitment of the AOC in helping make this training facility a reality.
“A home-grown facility reduces the time and expense of training overseas. It ensures Australian athletes will always have access to a domestic facility to prepare for key northern hemisphere events.”
The ASC, via the AIS, provides an annual high performance grant to the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia as part of Australia’s Winning Edge strategy. The AIS funded OWIA more than $2.6million in the 2015-16 financial year as Australia builds towards the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“Like the athletes who will benefit from this world-class facility, this important project has experienced many twists and turns,” Mr Wylie said. “The ASC has remained committed to this project for a number of years and has worked closely with the OWIA to present a case for the facility.
“Australia’s Winning Edge 2012-2022 has set bold ambitions, including top-20 at the Winter Olympics. A world-class facility like this gives our athletes a better opportunity to reach their performance potential.”