The ribbon was officially cut on the Newcastle Knights’ new $20 million Centre of Excellence at District Park, Broadmeadow today.
The Centre provides an integrated world-class high-performance training, administration and community facility for the identification, development and fostering of rugby league talent in the Hunter.
It includes three full-sized training fields, a state-of-the-art gym, multipurpose community and function area, theatrette and players’ lounge, rehabilitation space and office areas, and precinct walking and cycle path.
The NSW Government contributed $10 million towards the project through its NRL Centres of Excellence Program, which was matched by Wests Group Australia on behalf of the Newcastle Knights.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole says the Centre of Excellence gives regional rugby league players an opportunity to further develop their talent.
“Rugby League is such a big part of the social fabric of regional communities and investing in projects like this will benefit the game for generations to come.” Mr Toole said.
Minister for Tourism and Sport Stuart Ayres said the opening of the Knights’ Centre of Excellence was a game-changer for rugby league in the Hunter.
“The Newcastle Knights Centre of Excellence is the leading rugby league facility in regional NSW,” Mr Ayres said.
“It will improve male and female pathways and player development in the Hunter, ensuring the Knights challenge for NRL and NRLW premierships in the years to come.”
Newcastle Knights & Wests Group Australia CEO Philip Gardner said the Centre of Excellence is a home for the Knights and for Rugby League in Northern NSW.
“We want to thank the NSW Government, in particular the Office of Sport and Venues NSW, for partnering with us in developing this state-of-the-art facility,” Mr. Gardner said.
“Our eight Men’s and Women’s teams, from the Harold Matthews Cup and Tarsha Gale Cup through to the NRL and NRLW, will all benefit from the Centre of Excellence’s existence.
“But more so, it’s not just a home for the Knights, it’s a home for rugby league in northern NSW.”
nib Newcastle Knights head coach Adam O’Brien said the Centre of Excellence is an outstanding facility which we are proud to call our home.
“Newcastle is rugby league heartland, our community deserves a professional environment for the Knights to prepare and represent our town, ” O’Brien said.
“Our Centre of Excellence provides the highest of standards, we appreciate it and are committed to living up to these standards day in day out.”
The NSW Government has contributed more than $110 million towards eight Centres of Excellence projects under the NRL Centres of Excellence Program and NSW Government Centres of Excellence Program.
All Centres of Excellence include dedicated female programs and facilities to improve pathways for women and girls in line with the NSW Government’s women in sport strategy, Her Sport Her Way.
Each Centre of Excellence also include multi-purpose facilities, enabling sporting organisations to expand community programs and better engage with their communities.
Mr Ayres added that the Knights’ Centre of Excellence was part of a sports facility construction boom across NSW.
“This project created 80 jobs and provided a major boost to the Hunter construction industry as it recovered from the impacts of the pandemic,” Mr Ayres said