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Cathy Freeman opens new Blacktown sports hub

Cathy Freeman opens new Blacktown sports hub
November 19, 2023

Olympic legend, Cathy Freeman 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 the Council and sits within the Blacktown International Sports Park - venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympics softball and baseball competitions.

Speaking at the opening, Blacktown City 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, commenting “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.

Also at the opening, Freeman stated “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.

ACU Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Zlatko Skrbis added “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.

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: A fully licensed Parklands Café.

Images: Cathy Freeman opening the new Blacktown Exercise, Sports and Technology Hub today (top) plus other features of the facility including the physical literacy space.

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4th October 2023 - Healthier food options for Blacktown City Council’s five aquatic and leisure centres

3rd October 2023 - Symposium looks to address issues of inactivity and inequality in Western Sydney

15th September 2023 - Grandstand at Sydney’s Accor Stadium renamed in honour of Cathy Freeman

24th August 2023 - Blacktown City SportsFest returns in 2023 showcasing the best of local sport

16th February 2023 - Community welcomes Blacktown City’s new skate park

8th February 2023 - Blacktown’s tennis partnership thrives in Western Sydney

16th January 2023 - Disability Sport Centre of Excellence to be built within Blacktown International Sportspark

11th October 2022 - Blacktown City Council issues expressions of interest for multiple opportunities at the BEST Stage 2 development

6th October 2022 - Expression of Interest; Blacktown Exercise Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub and Lodge Stage 2

5th August 2022 - AFL to make use of Blacktown Exercise Sports and Technology Hub

4th August 2022 - Blacktown Key Venues spotlights its latest aquatic and leisure centre achievements

1st April 2022 - Gemba launches its latest sponsorship activation with Western Sydney Wanderers

14th January 2022 - Elite Sports Scientist Dr Stephen Bird join the Sportly Team

20th September 2021 - ESSA launches salary guide for Accredited Sports Scientists

25th February 2021 - NBA Sacramento Kings access sport technology advances through partnership with Australian Catholic University

6th November 2020 - Blacktown International Sportspark set to host WBBL fixtures

20th July 2020 - Blacktown International Sportspark delivers quarantine training ‘bubble’

17th July 2020 - Water infrastructure upgrade commences at Blacktown International Sportspark

17th September 2019 - Western Sydney Wanderers open new Centre of Football in Blacktown

12th February 2016 - Turf laid on new fields at Blacktown Football Park

12th September 2015 - Western Sydney Wanderers to be key part of expanded Blacktown Football Park


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