Parramatta Eels centre of excellence: $40m training ground announced in Kellyville
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The Parramatta Eels will move away from their North Parramatta training base to a new $40 million high-performance rugby league facility in Sydney’s north west.
Plans for a NRL centre of excellence, to be built at Kellyville Park, were unveiled by the Federal Government today.
The facility will include a 5000sq m community and high-performance centre and an NRL-standard match venue with a 1000 seat grandstand.
It will also be home to junior rugby league, touch football and league tag teams, the Canterbury Cup and host elite women’s rugby league fixtures.
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The Hills Shire Times can announce stage one of the project will see the club transfer its elite programs to a modular training facility in December 2019, while the construction of the match venue will commence within 18 to 24 months.
The construction of the community and high-performance facility will commence following the completion of the Memorial Ave widening project.
Parramatta Eels Club chief executive Bernie Gurr said the announcement was a landmark day for the club.
“This project will provide a world-class sporting facility that will enable our NRL team and our youth academy programs to be housed in one state-of-the-art venue and enhance our capacity to give back to the community,” he said.
Mr Gurr said the facility would support community groups including Wheelchair Rugby League, Try Time and Physical Disability Rugby League, as well as NRL School to Work program.
“Through our discussions with The Hills Shire Council it quickly became clear that we had an opportunity to build something really special, a place that could cater to the changing needs of one of the fast-growing regions in Australia and increase participation in Rugby League and Touch Football from grassroots all the way up to NRL and NRLW level.”
A total of $15 million worth of Federal Government funding has been secured by Mitchell federal Liberal MP Alex Hawke.
Mr Hawke said the allocated funding was the largest Federal Government commitment The Hills had ever seen.
“One of the biggest issues for The Hills is the lack of sporting social infrastructure, this is the number one issue for families in our electorate,” he said. “I have been working on this with the Eels for several years and the reason the government has funded the initiative is because of the opportunities it will bring with the youth academy and disability programs.”
It is understood Mr Hawke worked heavily with the Opposition to ensure that the initiative received bipartisan support.
“I am grateful to the opposition for coming on board and knowing it will go ahead with whoever wins government,” he said.