New Zealand’s high performance athletes have the benefit of another world-class sports facility, with the Royal opening of the Avantidrome in Cambridge today.
As well as being the new home for BikeNZ and Triathlon NZ, Avantidrome is also the home of High Performance Sport New Zealand’s Cambridge training centre.
Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin says Avantidrome’s proximity to Rowing NZ’s high performance centre at Lake Karapiro means that Cambridge has become a true hub for high performance sport.
“The Avantidrome is a huge asset – to the local community, to high performance sport and to Bike NZ. It’s a facility New Zealand can be very proud of,” he said.
Bike NZ High Performance Director Mark Elliott says the opportunities Avantidrome presents for his sport are immense.
“For the first time we have our riders, coaches, and all BikeNZ performance support-staff under one roof. The gains will be significant. The environment here also enables them to interact with other high performance athletes, coaches and management where they can learn from each other. Many champions will be coming out of the environment around Cambridge in the future,” he said.
Peter Miskimmin says he expects many medals to come out of the new Cambridge hub.
“New Zealand is producing more and more world champions, across a range of sports, and that’s because of our world-leading high performance system. In recent years the government has significantly increased its investment in high performance sport and that has enabled us to develop a system that is producing sustainable success in sports like rowing and bike.
“In 2012 we won 13 medals at the London Olympics and last year we produced around 20 world-champion teams or athletes. Avantidrome will help that trend continue,” said Miskimmin.
The Government provided a $7 million cornerstone investment to help build the Avantidrome, and Sport NZ also contributed a further $1.5 million for the climate control system that keeps the centre at the right temperature to keep the track fast.
Peter Miskimmin says the Home of Cycling Trust has done a fantastic job in delivering the project.
“This is a great example of collaboration and I want to acknowledge the significant support that came from other investors in the facility. They include the regional and district council, community trusts, corporate sponsors and around 200 philanthropic sources.”
New Zealand’s network of high performance facilities also includes the National Training Centre at AUT Millennium on Auckland’s North Shore, the Rowing New Zealand High Performance Centre at Karapiro, regional high performance centres in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington, and the high performance training centre for Snow Sport athletes in Wanaka. Plans are also underway for a national ocean water sports centre, an international standard swimming pool at AUT Millennium and a national training centre for Canoe.