Pictured with Tamworth Mayor Col Murray at the sports centre's official opening.
New England athletes, sports tourists and amateur players will be flocking to Tamworth following today’s opening of the Northern Inland Centre of Sporting Excellence.
Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the extension of an existing dome to include a new indoor sports facility and the construction of a synthetic athletics track was a big win for sports participation in the region.
“This place has everything, from a new velodrome and criterium cycling circuit to an outdoor equestrian area, so anyone who’s interested in getting involved or watching sports will have something to enjoy,” Mr Joyce said.
“Around 100,000 locals are expected to use the facility each year, as well as another 50,000 visitors from out of town.
“For a city of 60,000-plus people, this is an enormous boost – providing an ongoing injection of income and visitors and supporting the regional tourism industry.
“This is putting a front door on our great city, making sure that when people come to Tamworth that they have a real sense of satisfaction in what we can deliver.
“It gives us the capacity to provide a great standard of living so people can live comfortably in the regions with ready access to the services they need and deserve.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s $8.5 million investment had helped deliver this transformational sporting infrastructure.
“This is an investment in both the sporting and economic future of New England, supporting 30 jobs during construction and giving Tamworth a facility capable of hosting state and national events and competitions,” Mr McCormack said.
Tamworth Mayor Col Murray said the new centre was a massive win for local sporting clubs, including netball, basketball, futsal, hockey, athletics, cycling and equestrian associations.
“With 300 new parking spaces, including nine spaces for people with disabilities, we’ve also ensured that anyone who wants to get involved can easily access the new facility,” Cr Murray said.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the opening of Stage 1 of the Centre has set the foundation for one of the finest sporting facilities in regional Australia.
“A $4.5 million contribution for Stage 1 from the NSW Government enhances Tamworth’s reputation as a premier regional destination for world class sporting events,” Mr Anderson said.
“The NSW Government is contributing a further $7.2 million for Stage 2 of the Centre for a new hockey pitch and upgrading the existing two hockey pitch surfaces.
“Also construction is underway for roofing over existing warm-up arenas at the Equine and Livestock Centre that will provide better conditions for horses and riders and additional undercover event capacity.
“I’ve always said, ‘build it and they will come’, this will bring people from all over the country and from across the world,” he said.
The project was jointly funded with the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government investing $8.5 million, the New South Wales Government $4.25 million and Tamworth Regional Council $3 million.