A few months ago we reported that Australia was looking to pump millions of dollars of public money into the construction of three wave pools, with the express intent of training up their team of Olympic surfers.
In addition to this investment injection, a further six million dollars is to be spent on upgrading the existing Surfing Australia High Performance Surf Centre, which was built in 2012 and is located in Casuarina, NSW.
The work, which is funded by$2.536 million from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund and $3 million from the NSW Government, is due to begin today and is expected to be completed by July next year. The developments include underground parking, a bigger aerial skate training facility, an expanded gym, a massive auditorium, improved treatment facilities, and 11 new accommodation rooms.
Hopes are high that this influx of cash will help boost Australia’s chances of landing themselves some medals in 2020.
“It [the expansion] signals the turning of the tide for this organisation. We’re going to go to a benchmark facility we anticipate is going to bring home a whole host of gold medals in the future,” commented seven times World Champ Layne Beachley.
“We are confident that we will be ensuring athletes are provided with the opportunities for success.”
“We’re not only future proofing for Olympics, but for world championships as well,”
“Australia has dominated world surfing for years and we seem to have lost that a bit, especially on the men’s side. So we want to get back to where we belong and that’s on top.”
Do you think the investment is money that could be better spent elsewhere? Or is it a good use of taxpayer’s dollars, creating a clear pathway for kids who want to make a career out of surfing and encouraging others to lead healthier and more active lives?
You can read further debate on this issue here, here and here and have your say in the comments.
Cover photo: Sally Fitzgibbons training at the HPSC