06 March 2011

AUS European Training Centre official open

Minister for Sport officially opens the ETC@ASC

Minister for Sport Mark Arbib today officially opened the European Training Centre (ETC), a new base for Australia's athletes in the Italian province of Varese.

Speaking at the launch of the centre, Senator Arbib said the Government was committed to ensuring Australia's athletes were given every chance to succeed on the world sporting stage.

‘The Government is committing $12.5 million for the ongoing operation of the ETC in the lead up to the London Olympics and Paralympics and beyond,’ Senator Arbib said.

‘The ETC will replicate the Australian Institute of Sport's elite high performance facilities in Europe, providing a 'home away from home' for Australian athletes.

‘As well as accommodation, the centre will provide world class sporting facilities and services such as sports science and sports medicine, strength and conditioning training and athlete career and education support where it is needed.

‘The Government has been working very closely with the Australian Sports Commission, national sporting organisations, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), the Australian Paralympic Committee and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to support Australia's elite athletes as they strive to win Olympic, Paralympic and world championship gold.’

AOC President, John Coates, who also spoke at the launch, welcomed the Government's commitment to giving Australian athletes the best possible preparation and training.

‘To make it to the podium in sports which have most of their top competitions in Europe, such as rowing, cycling and sailing, Australian athletes need to have access to quality competition without the financial and physical toll of travelling back and forth between Australia and Europe,’ Mr Coates said.

‘The ETC will provide that base when our athletes are away from home and it will allow them to be at their very best.’

The ETC will provide support to sports including, but not limited to, rowing, cycling, canoeing, athletics, triathlon, volleyball, basketball, tennis, archery and shooting.

Senator Arbib said the ETC had been granted Olympic Training Centre status by the Australian Olympic Committee.

‘The opening of the European Training Centre builds on the work the Australian Government and the Australian Sports Commission are doing with the Australian Olympic committee to increase our chances of success at the 2012 London Olympics,’ Senator Arbib said.

‘The Australian Government recently announced that 10 Olympic sports would share in $2.5 million in targeted funding under the Green and Gold Project.

‘The Green and Gold Project is designed to give our athletes the best possible training and preparation the best coaching, sport science and resources and facilities.

‘And by putting more of our athletes on the podium we will inspire young people to participate in sport, which will not only help us find our next Olympic champions but will also have great health benefits, getting the kids away from the TV and on to the sports field.

‘The Green and Gold project is providing Australian sports with a targeted and timely investment into the Olympic program embracing the challenge of achieving a top five result in London.

‘The little things can often make a big difference for athletes, and the Green and Gold project, combined with the opening of the ETC, help to give our athletes the edge when chasing Olympic glory.’

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