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Sydney announced as the home of the Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre*

The State Government of New South Wales and Rowing Australia today announced that the base for its Women’s National Training Centre will be in Penrith, Western Sydney.

The new facility is supported by a combined investment from NSW Office of Sport, the NSW Institute of Sport, Rowing New South Wales and Rowing Australia. In addition to this investment, the Federal Government has committed $270,000 towards a new landing on the Nepean River that will be utilised not only by the NTC athletes but also the wider rowing community. Rowing Australia received a number of proposals from across its member states, with New South Wales selected as the preferred location.

The new Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre* will be situated on the banks of the Nepean River, one of the best stretches of ‘long’ training water in the country. Australia’s top female athletes will also have access to the world-class Olympic legacy rowing venue of the Sydney International Regatta Centre as well as a new facility that will make it the best of its kind in Australia.

Meeting a number of selection criteria, the first stage of the development will see the building of the boathouse that will accommodate the full boat fleet as well as having a dedicated onsite Strength and Conditioning area plus amenities for athletes and coaches. The goal is to have the facility ready for athletes by April 2017, subject to council planning approval.

The Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre is in addition to the already established men’s National Training Centre in Canberra – the Reinhold Batschi National Training Centre. Athletes selected to either Centre will be now be able to better plan their education and employment around a known long-term training base, while also having access to world-leading coaches, sports science and medicine.

Minister for Sport and Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres said: “Penrith is an outstanding choice for the new training facility for Australia’s top female rowers.

“The NSW Government is committed to working with Rowing Australia in the creation of this first stage of the facility and to providing female rowers from across the country a professional pathway to reach the highest level of their sport.

“This facility will be the first step in ensuring Penrith is the number one choice for female athletes from elite level through to underage.”

Rowing Australia CEO, Michael Scott added: “We thank the New South Wales Government, NSWIS, Rowing New South Wales and Penrith City Council for their vision and foresight to create this facility and invest in the future of women’s rowing. I would also like to thank the Federal Government for their commitment to the new landing for the Nepean River.

“The Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre, alongside the Men’s Centre in Canberra, will allow Australia to sharpen its focus on podium-potential athletes, provide competitive tension in a great daily training environment as well as providing world class on and off water to support to athletes.”

Councillor John Thain, Mayor of Penrith, added: “Council welcomes the announcement of this exciting initiative that will house Australia’s rowing elite here in Penrith. Council will work in closely with Rowing Australia through the development application process to help ensure the best positioning and amenity of the structure for the greater benefit of users, other rowing organisations and wider community.”

Rowing New South Wales board director, Sarah Cook, said: “This is a great outcome for New South Wales and Australian rowing, to have a facility created for the purpose of supporting women’s rowing.

“As an Australian rower I spent a lot of time training and competing in Penrith leading up to World Championships and Olympic Games. The Nepean River is the best rowing venue I’ve trained on in the country, and with one of the world’s greatest Olympic rowing courses around the corner, really makes this the ideal training venue for our high performance rowers.

“The athlete’s based at the training centre will be welcomed into a supportive and vibrant rowing community that exists in New South Wales, with a long and stellar history in the sport. This is a tremendous opportunity for our state, with the creation of a hub for rowing in Penrith, to encourage the growth of the sport within New South Wales.”

Rowing Australia last month advised its athlete group of an athlete financial support scheme that will provide all athletes training at the Centres with a weekly allowance of $500.This will be provided for every athlete who is selected into the centre, for each week they train there as well as when they are selected into the Australian Rowing Team.

This support, is the first direct financial assistance Rowing Australia has been able to provide its athletes and comes from the investment recently announced from Hancock Prospecting and the Georgina Hope Foundation for the next four years. This funding is in addition to any direct funding that athletes may receive from, for example, the AIS dAIS scheme or the AOC’s medal incentive program.

* Name is subject to Penrith City Council planning approval

Fast Facts:

  • The first stage of the Women’s National Training Centre will be operational no later than April 2017.
  • The Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre Permanent Facilities will include the following.
    • Boathouse accommodating full boat fleet
    • Strength and Conditioning facilities
    • Athlete and Coach Amenities
  • The Centre will be able to accommodate up to 25 elite female rowers and will have Head Coach, John Keogh and two senior coaches to be announced in due course.
  • Planning approvals are in progress with the Penrith City Council, this includes the final confirmed name of the Centre