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$1.7 million to upgrade facilities for Australia’s elite male rowers

Today (27 January), Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck officially opened facility upgrades to the Reinhold Batschi Men’s National Training Centre (RBMNTC) in Canberra.

The $1.7m upgrades, funded by the Australian Government through Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), provides the elite rowing facility with improved changing rooms, laundry, consultation rooms and better disabled access. The centre was originally built in the early 1980s as part of the AIS Rowing Facility and this significant investment represents the biggest upgrade to the elite training facility in 35 years.

Minister Colbeck said the Australian Government continues to invest in high performance facilities around the country to benefit our Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

“The Government is proud to support our athletes to help them achieve their best on the world stage. Rowing has an incredible history in Australia, particularly at the Olympic Games with 40 medals including 11 gold, and our athletes now have contemporary, fit-for-purpose facilities to help them as they prepare for the Tokyo Games and beyond.”

The new centre upgrades include gender neutral and disabled access bathrooms, enabling the centre to host not only the full-time male athletes when they’re in situ, but also visiting athletes from the Hancock Prospecting Women’s NTC, Australia’s elite Para-rowing Program or the Pathway Training Camp groups.

Rowing Australia CEO, Ian Robson said, “On behalf of all of us at Rowing Australia, I would like to extend my thanks to the Australian Government for their ongoing support of our sport and athletes. The upgrades to the Reinhold Batschi Men’s National Training Centre brings the facility to the same standard as our dedicated female rowing centre, opened in Penrith in 2017, the Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre.

“The athletes have had a disrupted year, with the postponement of the Olympic Games, but have continued to train diligently, even when their facility was in the midst of renovation. I would specifically like to thank Canberra Grammar School, who generously allowed our Men’s National Training Centre athletes to train out of their sheds, for part of 2020, while the building works were underway.

“I know our athletes are all extremely grateful and excited to be utilising the new spaces and continuing their pursuit of Olympic glory for Australia while based at the centre. We are delighted to now have a facility that is fit for purpose for all our elite athletes to use when required and that would not have been possible without the support of the Australian Government, Sport Australia and the AIS.”


Snapshot of upgrades:

  • Sport Australia and the AIS granted Rowing Australia $1.7m to upgrade the changing rooms and consultation rooms at the centre. The facility began in 1986, with expansions including the gym, ergometer room, treatment areas and changing rooms. This is the first upgrade to the changing rooms since they were added in the late 1980s.
  • The new upgraded facilities include:
Improved disabled facility access. Gender neutral bathrooms.
Heightened shower facilities to accommodate taller athletes. Secure locker space for up to 50 athletes across two changing rooms.
Laundry facilities for athletes to wash kit between sessions and maintain good hygiene practices. New roller shutters for the rowing sheds, the first upgrade in 35 years.
Dedicated specialist consulting rooms have been installed for support staff to utilise. Improved study facility spaces for athletes.