20 November 2023Share
ACU’s new facilities were on show at the official opening of the the Blacktown Exercise, Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub on Sunday 19 November.
ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis joined Olympic champion Cathy Freeman , Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale and representatives from the other partners of the new high-tech centre.
The newly constructed $100-million council-funded centre 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 was, “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 Australian Catholic University (ACU), Sydney West Sports Medicine, AFLNSW and WentWest,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
In opening BEST, 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,” she said.
Professor Skrbis said the integration of ACU’s Exercise and Sports Science and High-Performance Sport programs with other health and sport resources in one precinct provided value to the broader community.
“It is exciting to see how beautifully the hard work and expertise have come together to create these magnificent facilities. Our partnership with Blacktown City Council’s BEST Centre is an advantage to the whole community as the Centre brings together holistic services from everyday people to elite athletes. It has the capability to provide injury recovery and treatment, accommodation, active lifestyle engagement, and exercise and Sport Science education and research in one place, which is an invaluable resource for our students and staff as well as for Blacktown and Western Sydney.”
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