Thursday, July 25, 2024

Blacktown puts BEST foot forward at sports forum

Blacktown City Council this week hosted its second annual Sports Forum, which it says helps to build a conversation between Council and local grassroots sporting clubs and organisations across the local government area.

Club representatives were introduced to BEST – the Blacktown Exercise, Sports and Technology Hub – Council’s $100 million investment in community health and future wellbeing.

Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM said, “Council shares our community’s passion for sport and an active lifestyle. Community sport plays a huge role in the health and well-being of our residents. We want everyone in our community to be more active more often.”

As sports clubs encourage residents of all ages to participate in sport at all levels, Council is enabling clubs to utilise the BEST facility along with services offered by Council’s partners on the site, he said.

“At BEST, we have provided world class facilities, available to all, education and treatment facilities, accommodation and even an award-winning playground.”

Dr Neil Gibson, Precinct Director, Blacktown International Sports Park introduced BEST as the model for the community centre of the future, saying it integrates essential services in education, health, and physical activity, all conveniently located under one roof.

Blacktown District Soccer Football Association chair, Bill Owen said the provision of BEST puts Blacktown City on the sporting map.

“Council should be commended for their building of BEST, it puts the City on the map in terms of how sport is supported. Council’s historic vision and passion for community sport is complemented by BEST and what it offers for the future for both players and sports clubs,” said Mr Owen.

Plumpton High School teacher and director of Super 6 High Performance, Tahlia McKenzie, also spoke about the positive impact of BEST.

“Kids are coming to BEST, they are out here playing, they are taking opportunities that support their mental health and well-being. They have been given, as part of the community, easy access to high quality facilities that they want to spend hours using. BEST means that good sports facilities are inclusively available to all.”

The Sports Forum heard from Council’s partners at BEST including, Professor David Greene of the Australian Catholic University, School of Behavioural & Health Sciences and Nikki Lodge, exercise physiologist, General Manager and Director at Sydney West Sports Medicine. WentWest CEO, Michelle Quinn, outlined the role of the Western Sydney Primary Health Network, and Ryan Holloway the Chief Partnerships Officer at the Australian Sports Foundation outlined how grassroots clubs can support their future needs through fundraising. Stuart Ford, General Manager of Delaware North shared the accommodation and food options available at BEST including the café next to the children’s physical literacy playground.

“Council’s 2024 Sports Forum has opened up conversation among representatives from Western Sydney sports clubs, and Council,” said Mayor Bleasdale.

“Our forums are a vital place to discuss challenges and opportunities in our community. I thank everyone who came along for their contribution.”

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