by Craig Heydon
The Australian Sailing Team has today official opened its new National Training Centre at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney.
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page at the new National Training Centre in Sydney
The new National Training Centre was officially opened by Federal Sports Minister, Senator Mark Arbib. It is designed to provide Australian sailors with all the necessary resources as they continue their quest for Gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games and beyond.
Senator Arbib said that the new facility would ensure that Australia’s sailors remain at the top of their game for many years to come. 'This new, state-of-the-art training centre will provide Australia’s athletes and coaches with fantastic facilities,' Senator Arbib said. 'Our sailing team has enjoyed great success and this new Centre will only help the team achieve even more success in the future.'
The National Training Centre is a major development for the Australian Sailing Team as it will provide the first ever home for the team, a major benefit according to Olympic Gold medallist and current 470 world champion and world number one Malcolm Page. 'For the long term future of the Australian Sailing Team it’s wonderful to finally have a home, somewhere to put our roots down,' said Page. 'Middle Harbour Yacht Club has always been my home but to have the whole team there now is a wonderful addition. 'Aside from the simple things such as the convenience that comes with having our own National Training Centre we now have another tool in our arsenal as we head towards the Olympic Games in under a year’s time,' he said. 'We’re now in a position where we can come in off the water, walk into the Centre and plug in and analyse our training session, we weren’t in a position to do that before.
'The National Training Centre is also putting the Australian Sailing Team brand out there to the next generation of world and Olympic champion Australian sailors,' said Page. 'The sailing community can see it as our home, it’s our home ground.' The facilities at the National Training Centre will include coach offices, an AV debrief room, computer facilities, undercover boat storage, workshop, and athlete and coach lockers. It will also provide opportunities to engage support for athletes and coaches such as boatbuilding and rigging, and courtesy of the Australian Institute of Sport the first Sydney-based Performance Analyst for sailing, to assist in the daily training environment.
'The National Training Centre will facilitate a new level of interaction and engagement between coaches and athletes across our disciplines and will be incredibly important as we close in on the London 2012 Olympic Games and then well into the future,' said High Performance Director Peter Conde.
'The setting is ideal, providing training access to a tremendous variety of wind, wave and current conditions for the Australian Sailing Team and Australian Sailing Squad,' he said.
The creation of the Australian Sailing Team’s National Training Centre has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Australian Institute of Sport through direct funding and project management.
Middle Harbour Yacht Club has also been integral in the development of the Centre and the Australian Sailing Team looks forward to a long working relationship with the club.
Senator Arbib taking part in testing with Australian sailor Tom Burton at the new National Training Centre
Australian Sailing Team visit here