New basketball centre of excellence to be built in Canberra

New basketball centre of excellence to be built in Canberra

Reigning WNBL champions the Canberra Capitals will get a new home after the ACT Government committed $3 million in the 2009-10 budget towards building a basketball centre for excellence, writes Michael Inman in The Canberra Times.

It is believed the centre will be constructed in partnership with the
University of Canberra and be at the university’s Bruce campus.

It is envisaged it will include a recovery centre, strength and conditioning areas, office space and suites for physiotherapy.

The commitment is part of more than $32 million to be spent by the ACT Government on sporting infrastructure over the next four years.

Minister for Sport Andrew Barr said the budget delivered on election commitments to invest in sport infrastructure and helping to support jobs.

‘‘Our sporting industry, both at the elite and local level, provides not only great entertainment and an active lifestyle for Canberrans, but also acts as a draw card for visitors to Canberra,’’ Mr Barr said.

‘‘The 2009-10 ACT budget delivers sensible and targeted investments in the ACT’s sports . . . sector aimed at supporting local jobs and the economy while delivering the services that make Canberra the most active and
healthy community in Australia.’’

Basketball ACT chief executive Mark Cartwright said he was pleased the Government had followed through on its pre-election promise to build the basketball centre for excellence.

‘‘We’ve been working with government for a while to see a new development for basketball in the territory and we think this will be a strong catalyst for a development in three or four years which will help the Capitals, Gunners and community basketball,’’ Mr Cartwright said.

‘‘The surety of having the funds appropriated for us is a step in the right direction.

‘‘The plan is to form a partnership with the university . . . the idea is to build a significant development which will benefit both basketball in the territory and the university.

‘‘We’re looking at something that’s state of the art. But we’ve got to be realistic because it’s $3 million not $30 million.’’