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New partnership to boost sporting excellence at University of Waikato

New partnership to boost sporting excellence at University of Waikato
October 28, 2012

The University of Waikato has announced it will partner with the Home of Cycling Charitable Trust to develop a range of research and consultancy services around community and high-performance sport in the Waikato region.

As the Tertiary Education Partner, the University will have tertiary naming rights for the National Cycling Centre of Excellence (Avantidrome) complex, and access to high-quality facilities for staff and students.

The Avantidrome will be located near St Peter's School near Cambridge and will consist of a velodrome and associated space for athletes and administrators.

Under the partnership, the University of Waikato plans to further develop teaching and research in sport science, management and related areas, and will be the preferred institution in the region to deliver professional development and postgraduate opportunities for BikeNZ and High Performance Sport New Zealand.

The University's $1 million investment in the partnership will be spread over five years, and will provide access to facilities worth $28.5 million, and enhanced research opportunities.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford explains "our investment with the Home of Cycling Charitable Trust will enhance the University of Waikato's position as the key provider in the region in the area of high performance sport and excellence.

"The partnership will give us access to state-of-the-art facilities for our prestigious Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship programme for all-round high achievers in sport and creative and performing arts. It will also allow associated sporting groups to identify talent among our high-performing sports students."

The Avantidrome is the second high-performance centre to be located in the Waikato region, and based on past experience from the University's proximity to the Rowing New Zealand High Performance Centre at Lake Karapiro, the new partnership is expected to attract high performance cyclists to the University and to the Waikato region.

The University of Waikato already has existing applied research strengths in athlete development and performance, sports coaching and coach development educational programmes. It is anticipated access to high performance facilities at the Avantidrome will enable Sport and Leisure Studies within the Faculty of Education to substantially grow its externally funded research income and enhance its programmes.

Professor Crawford adds "there are significant benefits in this investment for enhancing the Waikato student experience, increasing access to research opportunities, and growing our regional and national sporting links.

"The Avantidrome will be an extension of the excellent facilities available on our campus and there are many synergies to be gained from sharing."

Home of Cycling Chief Executive Geoff Balme says the University of Waikato will be a key partner in the Avantidrome, which is intended to make a regional, national and international impact, stating "tertiary education has a key role to play in the delivery of community and high-performance sport and so we are excited to welcome the University of Waikato as a partner in a regional asset of national importance."

Work has already begun on the Avantidrome, and with completion anticipated at the end of 2013, students and researchers from the University of Waikato can expect to be taking up the opportunities provided by this world-class facility in 2014.

Image: An architect's rendition of the Avantidrome. 




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