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New lease of life for Olympic Park

Craig Kelly, Scott Pendlebury and Peter McKenna are joined by several young Collingwood fans to kick the first goal on the new training oval.
Collingwood is the biggest sporting club in Australia and having direct access to an MCG sized training oval of this quality compliments our state of the art facilities at the Westpac Centre and provides our club with training base that is the equal of any in the world
Collingwood President Eddie McGuire
A new chapter has opened in the life of Melbourne's Olympic Park with its redevelopment as an Australian Rules Football oval and running track, the Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett announced today.

Speaking at tenant Collingwood Football Club's first training session on the new ground, Minister Hodgett said the $11.3 million redevelopment had given Olympic Park a new lease of life.

"The new Olympic Park oval continues more than 100 years of sporting history on a site that has hosted a vast array of events from football, tennis, rugby union, rugby league, women's cricket and, of course, athletics," Minister Hodgett said.

"With athletics moved to a purpose built facility at Lakeside Stadium, new possibilities opened up for Olympic Park which was definitely showing its age. With the 1980's grandstand removed the redeveloped oval opens up new public green space and a wonderful view of the Botanical Gardens across the river.

"The redevelopment of Olympic Park and the $366 million Melbourne Park redevelopment project under construction across the road are all part of the evolution of Melbourne’s legendary sporting precinct.

"No other city has so many world-class venues and facilities so close to the centre of town, it is one of Melbourne's greatest assets," he said.

The Chair of Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust, Russell Caplan said the redevelopment was a great asset to the ever-evolving sport and entertainment precinct which provided some excellent new training facilities for the Collingwood Football Club as well as a new access point for the Victorian public.

"The redevelopment provides an additional green space, accessible to members of the community, sporting groups and schools," Mr Caplan said.

"It is also important to note the redevelopment has been carefully planned to ensure the Olympic heritage of this oval is maintained and honoured, including the relocation of the famous John Landy-Ron Clarke statue to the site where the iconic act of sportsmanship occurred," he said.

Collingwood President Eddie McGuire said, "The Collingwood Football Club is extremely proud to be a part of this magnificent precinct. Collingwood is the biggest sporting club in Australia and having direct access to an MCG sized training oval of this quality compliments our state of the art facilities at the Westpac Centre and provides our club with training base that is the equal of any in the world.

"We have enormous respect for the history and heritage of this famous site and we look forward to working closely with the State Government and Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust to ensure that this oval is available - not just for Collingwood - but also for greater community engagement.

"Our club is already working closely with MOPT, the State Government and the Federal Government on the development of additional new community facilities that will enhance the use of the new oval and its links to surrounding sports venues, parks and bike trails."