New centre to churn out champions

Trying equipment at the opening of the Dunedin Centre of Excellence at Forsyth Barr Stadium...
Trying equipment at the opening of the Dunedin Centre of Excellence at Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday are (from left) Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame inductee Dame Lois Muir, and High Performance Sport New Zealand chairman Paul Collins. Photo by Linda McIntosh.
A multimillion-dollar Dunedin sports excellence academy could be a factory for future world champions.

The High Performance Sport New Zealand Dunedin Centre of Excellence was officially opened at Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday.

The $4.8 million building will be a hub for Otago athletes and house HPSNZ and its tenants - the Highlanders, Sports Medicine New Zealand and New Zealand Turf - which formerly occupied the old Logan Park art gallery building.

The facility includes a training floor, 50m single-lane running track, recovery pools, video analysis suite, athletes' lounges, changing rooms and showers.

"It's marvellous," New Zealand Academy of Sport South Island inaugural chairwoman and New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame inductee Dame Lois Muir said at the opening yesterday.

The building was funded by the Dunedin City Council, Sport and Recreation New Zealand (Sparc) and the Otago Community Trust. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said it would create a hub of complementary indoor facilities, between the stadium, Logan Park, the Caledonian and University of Otago facilities.

"We're at the end of the world down here, and the important thing is it creates synergies between the university, the stadium and the city. This is all about excellence and it's going to be a very important facility for Dunedin."

HPSNZ was created in August from a merger of Sparc and the New Zealand Academy of Sport, after the Government announced a review of New Zealand's high-performance sport structure.

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