Work has started on a $9.8 million one-stop-shop for the Queensland Academy of Sport’s (QAS) elite athletes at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) in Nathan.
Member for Toohey Peter Russo said the upgrade would deliver a new era for QSAC.
“This is the start of an exciting transformation as a training centre for elite athletes and sports science hub,” Mr Russo said.
“It puts in place modern infrastructure for the success of Queensland and Australian athletes.
“As well as a centre of excellence at QSAC that makes Queensland the place to be for training overseas athletes who also contribute to our economic recovery.”
Equipped with sledgehammers, Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Olympic discus athlete Matt Denny kicked off the partial demolition of QSAC’s indoor basketball hall.
“After a couple of rounds with a sledgehammer there’s no mistaking this is a solid building with a Brisbane sporting pedigree,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The indoor court is under the old QE II grandstand which was the place to be to see the 1982 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony and Matilda, the 13-metre winking kangaroo mascot.”
Mr Hinchliffe said stage one of the renovations included converting the indoor court into a very large gym for training the Academy of Sport’s elite athletes in a COVID-safe environment.
“Large sections of the exterior wall are being demolished for over-sized windows to flood the new gym with natural light,” he said.
"Built into the new gym’s design are lifting platforms for para-athletes.
“QSAC’s smaller, existing gym area will become the centre of the Academy’s scientific work with upgraded biomechanical and physiological testing, a blood lab and instrumented running track.
“We hope the QSAC upgrade gives athletes preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games the competitive edge to do Queensland proud on the world stage.”
QAS Chief Executive Chelsea Warr said the benefits of the refurbished facilities and the expertise of the QAS Performance Support Teams will ensure Queensland remains a sporting powerhouse for national programs to leverage for years to come.
“The refurbishment won’t just benefit our QAS athletes, but also National High-Performance programs which are considering basing in Queensland both pre and post Tokyo,” said Ms Warr.
“QAS will be a one-stop-shop for athletes moving from the gym into our health suites to access physio, medical and dietetic services.
“Our world-class analysts and physiologists will also benefit from the purpose-built facilities and Performance Support Teams will be able to deliver targeted services to our athletes and national programs.”
QSAC Venue Manager Angus Macdonald said the upgraded facility would help boost the complex’s ability to cater for high-performance athletes.
“QSAC was centre stage in the 1982 Commonwealth Games and we hope to play a big role in all high-performance sporting opportunities, whether as a host venue or as a training hub for future Queensland medal hopefuls,” Mr Macdonald said.
“It’s great to be able to support the QAS with world-class facilities and add to the suite of amenities and equipment on-site that simultaneously support high-performance athletes, build pathways for junior athletes and assist with community sport.”
Work is expected to be finished in early July.
Mr Hinchliffe said the $9.8 million refurbishment would be an added asset for ‘targeted dialogue’ with the International Olympic Committee about a potential Queensland Games in 2032.