Monday, December 4, 2023

Olympic legend opens new Blacktown sports hub

Olympic legend, Cathy Freeman OAM, has today officially opened the Blacktown City Council’s new Blacktown Exercise, Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub.

The newly constructed $100 million facility was fully-funded by Council and sits within the Blacktown International Sports Park – venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympics softball and baseball competitions.

Mayor, Tony Bleasdale said BEST provides state-of-the-art facilities for training, sports medicine, rehabilitation, research and education as well as providing accommodation, a large café-restaurant and an innovative fun play space for kids of all ages and abilities.

“BEST is a $100-million investment in the health and future of the communities of Blacktown City and Western Sydney.”

“BEST is a game-changer for sports in Western Sydney providing the very best facilities in sports sciences, training and rehabilitation.

“BEST was designed in collaboration with partners; the Australian Catholic University (ACU), Sydney West Sports Medicine, AFLNSW and WentWest,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

At today’s opening, Cathy Freeman said, “If this facility was here when I was a kid, without a doubt I would be here every day with my stepfather training and making the most of these facilities.

“I love the fact that there is such diverse community in Blacktown City, including a vast First Nations community who will be able to use BEST and make it work. Best provides an opportunity and value for the community to connect.”

ACU’s Exercise and Sports Science and High-Performance Sport programs are now located within BEST, utilising Australia’s most innovative integrated sport, health and education precinct.

“Our partnership with Blacktown City Council’s BEST has produced an invaluable resource for Blacktown and Western Sydney,” said ACU Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Zlatko Skrbis.

“BEST has the capability to provide injury recovery and treatment, accommodation, active lifestyle engagement, exercise and Sport Science education and research in one place which is invaluable for our students and staff.”

The design team of ARM Architecture and Co-op developed the extraordinary BEST design. The hub was constructed by Buildcorp, with Architectus designing the landscape and physical literacy area.

Buildcorp Group Managing Director, Tony Sukkar says, “It was a privilege and an honour for Buildcorp to complete this amazing facility in collaboration with Blacktown City Council, providing community facilities, medical and allied services, and playing fields and accommodation.

“We have proudly engaged over 1000 workers across 55 trades on the site, many from the local area. Having travelled the world, I can say BEST is a benchmark for high performance for teams, better than anything around the world.”

The Blacktown Exercise, Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub features:

Strength and Conditioning suite; Featuring a range of cutting-edge equipment that has been curated to offer the very best in training and rehabilitation. The Strength and Conditioning suite will be available for those rehabilitating after injury or recovery from surgery as well as athletes and teams. BEST is also equipped with synthetic indoor and outdoor running tracks.

Aquatic recovery pools: A split level pool with deep water for tethered swimming and aqua running, an area for water-based recovery sessions and hot and cold plunge pools, all designed to promote recovery post exercise.  

Auditorium: Multi use space suitable for conferences, meetings or functions, fully equipped with audio visual technology.

All-weather playing field: Designed to be enjoyed by kids and big kids alike, as well as being a valuable facility for training, strength and conditioning and injury rehabilitation.

Physical literacy space (Playground); Designed in conjunction with medical experts, to improve physical, psychological, social and cognitive skills. It’s also the most exciting playground for kids of all ages.

The Lodge:  A stylish, modern hotel, ideal for athletes, bootcamps, wellness retreats, corporate team building, or anyone visiting Western Sydney. Guests can enjoy bespoke catering options, customised training regimes, as well as fitness and aquatics centres.

Café; fully licensed Parklands Café.

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