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New community hub at Olympic Park

Collingwood President Eddie McGuire together with Minister for Employment, The Hon. Bill Shorten MP today announced a partnership between Collingwood,  the Federal Government and Melbourne & Olympic Parks to establish a major new Community Centre in the Olympic Park Precinct in Melbourne.
The Olympic Park Precinct is home to many elite sports venues and adjacent to a range of parks, gardens and bike trails. The new centre will help to open up the precinct and a range of facilities to greater community use and engagement.
The proposed CFC Community Centre at Olympic Park is a new, split level sports, events and training complex connected to the Westpac Centre and adjacent to a new MCG sized sports oval being built on the Olympic Park site. It is designed to provide the community with access to elite training facilities and cater for a range of new events and programs.    
The centre will allow access to CFC’s own facilities at the Westpac Centre and will include a range of features designed to host major community events, operate health and fitness programs and activities; and deliver inspirational experiences for community groups, grass roots sports clubs and young people.
Collingwood President Eddie McGuire said, “The new community centre will complete our three pillars community strategy to make a major contribution to the community by linking our community centre at Victoria Park, our partnership at the People’s Ground the MCG, and a new community facility linked to the Westpac Centre in the heart of Olympic Park.”
The new CFC Community Centre has been designed to have a special emphasis on providing a safe training environment for women, on connecting links to the Tan Track and Yarra River bike trails and to providing special opportunities for grass roots sports clubs and community groups.”
The Olympic Park Precinct is one of the great sporting and event precincts of the world and I would like to acknowledge the wonderful work that the Melbourne & Olympic Park Trust is doing in managing and developing the precinct. I look forward to working with them further to plan and implement this project.  I would also like to pay tribute to the Federal Government for their commitment to supporting community sport and addressing inactivity and obesity in our society.”
The total project combines a $10 million redevelopment of Collingwood‘s facilities at the Westpac Centre (being fully funded by the Collingwood Football Club); a new MCG sized sports oval and two lane running track redevelopment by Melbourne & Olympic Park Trust (as previously announced) and the new CFC Community Centre. The Federal Government’s commitment of $10 million will go directly to the Community Centre facilities which are estimated to cost $15 million. Collingwood will make a further contribution as well as seeking funding from other partners to complete the project.

The new centre’s key objective will be to make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of the community by educating, inspiring and involving people in physical activity - with a particular focus on women and young people.
The Community Centre at Olympic Park will also have links to Collingwood’s other Community Centre at Victoria Park which has established a series of programs and services for young people and also supports the club’s growing multi- cultural and indigenous programs.
The CFC Community Centre at Olympic Park is designed to cater for small and large community meetings; host presentations and training programs; provide direct links to the Westpac Centre and to service events and activities on the sports oval.
Key features include a 150 seat Presentation Theatre; secure, managed public change/locker rooms and training facilities for women; multi-purpose community group meeting and training rooms and facilities for a health, wellness and fitness centre. Works are expected to begin in 2013.
Collingwood board member and Olympic gold aerial skier, Alisa Camplin said the new facilities would benefit a wide range of people in the community especially women.
“As an elite athlete in Melbourne you have access to fantastic facilities but I found that when I was going from the participation through that development stage or even to early elite stage and especially as a young woman in the community that there was never anywhere to go and be an active sports person to do active recreation.
“Now for the first time participation and elite sport in the community are linked and there’s a place where you can meet with your female friends down at Olympic Park, at the Westpac Centre and  go for a jog, have a shower, do yoga or grab a coffee.
What I think is really special about this project is that it allows people to participate and to actively recreate in sport without having to be a member of a club, it’s a safe place to come, to shower and to change and to bring people in the community together."

The view from the oval and running track.

An overhead view of the training oval (size of the MCG) which Collingwood will use in 2012.

A sketch of the mezzanine level inside the Westpac Centre featuring a new high-altitude training room