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MDC gives ‘Finz Up’ to High Performance Training Centre concept

MDC gives ‘Finz Up’ to High Performance Training Centre concept

A proposal to convert the existing Council-owned sports administration building at Lansdowne Park into a High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) has received the full support of the Council’s Assets & Services Committee today.

The Tasman Rugby Union tabled the proposal to lease the former St Johns building. The Union will fund the design and fit out for the ‘athlete-focussed facility’ and also plan to offer it for use by other sporting codes.

Council’s Assets & Services Committee chair, Councillor Nadine Taylor and Tasman Mako Brand Ambassador Graeme Taylor at Lansdowne Park earlier this year where a new athlete-focussed facility is planned to benefit Marlborough’s high performance athletics

Still subject to approval by the full Council, the concept has been agreed in principle although the licence terms will still need to be negotiated.

Graeme Taylor, Brand Ambassador for the Tasman Mako, said this was an exciting project to add to all the other exciting things happening at Lansdowne Park.

The new Sportshub facility at Lansdowne Park is scheduled for completion in September. The current sports administration activities, including rugby, netball, softball and touch rugby, operating from the building will have a new home in the hub once completed.

Assets & Services Committee chair Councillor Nadine Taylor said the High Performance Centre was a fantastic initiative that would help keep talented young sports people in Marlborough.

“As Marlburians, we all watch with pride when we see the ‘finz up’ on the sporting stage. The Council is pleased to partner with the Tasman Rugby Union in supporting this proposal,” she said. “We also appreciate Tasman Rugby is prepared to take a Marlborough view and provide for other sporting codes within this facility.”

Tasman RFU chair Wayne Young said the HPTC would help “even up the playing field” for local players aspiring to make the Tasman Mako and would make Marlborough a more desirable location for professional sports people.

“Our vision is to include as many professional sports as possible. We see it as an opportunity to get everyone engaged,” he said.

Tasman Mako assistant coach Gray Cornelius said the Tasman Mako had been part of the region for 16 years now. “We all get a big kick out of seeing local players make it on the big stage – we want to make sure that we can continue to see that happen.”

There were many factors that went into succeeding as a professional athlete – genetics and some luck in remaining injury free, said Gray. “One thing that a high performance athlete can control is their strength and conditioning,” he said.

“Success breeds success,” he said, noting that a similar facility in Nelson is constantly in use. “This will be a place of belonging. For our players this is a place they can come and get better. To be the best that they can be.”

“It will be the icing on the Lansdowne Park cake,” he said.