The NSW Government has announced that a $5.9million winter sports training facility will be built at Lennox Head.
The world class International Ski Jump Ramp and high performance centre will be based at Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre will feature an Olympic sized swimming pool and water jump ramp.
Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres, who was joined by Australian Winter Olympic gold medalist Lydia Lassila for the announcement, said the facility will be suitable for various sporting disciplines, with a major focus on winter sports.
Mr Ayers said the facility would be funded in the 2016-17 NSW Budget.
‘This is a game changer for Australian athletes when it comes to Winter Olympic preparation,’ Mr Ayres said.
‘Our athletes currently have to train at an antiquated facility in Victoria or travel overseas for the vast majority of their training programs. It will be best suited to our aerial skiers, snowboarders and mogul skiers.’
The facility will also provide a significant boost to the local Lennox Head and Ballina communities.
‘This project will provide new jobs during construction plus retail, accommodation and tourism benefits for the Lennox Head and Ballina communities,’ Mr Ayres added.
‘It will also attract many international visitors and be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.’
The facility will feature a lift allowing athletes to perform a greater number of practice jumps in a session which provides a significant competitive advantage.
The project is jointly funded by the NSW Government, Australian Sports Commission and Australian Olympic Committee through the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia.
The centre, which will be officially recognised as an Olympic training venue, is expected to be completed in 2018.