BLACKTOWN Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM joined Olympic champion, Cathy Freeman OAM, to officially open the Blacktown Exercise, Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub.
The newly constructed $100M BEST is fully-funded by Blacktown City Council – and sits within the Blacktown International Sports Park, venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympics softball and baseball competitions.
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.
Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale said: “BEST is a $100M 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.
In opening BEST today, Cathy Freeman said: “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, Cathy Freeman said.
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 said: “Our partnership with Blacktown City Council’s BEST has produced an invaluable resource for Blacktown and Western Sydney.
“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.” Professor Skrbis said.
Blacktown City Council is fortunate to have Dr. Neil Gibson as the Project Director at BEST.
Neil was responsible for the design and development of Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, Oriam. He has been a consultant to both the Scottish and English Football Associations, as well as Scotland’s Commonwealth Games teams.
“Neil is widely regarded as among the best in the world in his field and we are fortunate to have him. The BEST in the industry leading the BEST sports training, recovery and sports sciences education facility in Australia,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
The design team of ARM Architecture and Co-op developed the extraordinary BEST design. BEST was constructed by Buildcorp, with Architectus designing the landscape and physical literacy area.
Buildcorp Group Managing Director, Tony Sukkar said “It was a privilege and an honour for Buildcorp to complete this amazing facility in collaboration with Blacktown City Council, providing community facilities, medical and allied services, and playing fields and accommodation.
“We have proudly engaged over 1000 workers across 55 trades on the site, many from the local area. Having travelled the world, I can say BEST is a benchmark for high performance for teams, better than anything around the world.”
The Blacktown Exercise, Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub includes:
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: The fully licensed Parklands Café is open all day and is the ideal place to grab a quick bite or enjoy a leisurely meal with friends.
More information on the Blacktown Exercise, Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub: www.bestblacktown.com