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May 14, 2021

Winter sports facility to be built at Lennox Head

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LydiaLassila during the medal ceremony at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. (AAP)
LydiaLassila during the medal ceremony at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. (photo Alchetron.com)

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.


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  1. I guess they realise it doesn’t snow in Lennox – at least they are not talking about ice skating on Lake Ainsworth.

  2. Winter sports in Lennox Head, how ridiculous. Sounds like it will be an ugly concrete monstrosity despoiling the beauty of this iconic village

  3. What a ridiculous idea. The Norfolk Pines will be 12m lower than the jump tower. Other facilities of this type are built on a hill, not in the middle of a coastal heath subject to East Coast Lows. They couldn’t use the Brisbane site because of the water table, but they can use our coastal erosion zone on the shores of Lake Ainsworth.
    Neither the Lake nor Lennox needs a winter Olympics training centre. Put it in the somewhere where they could do with the extra tourists and provide parking etc.
    Last time I checked the Snow Gauge, it hadn’t snowed in Lennox since the last ice age. Get real about our coastal environment and put this white elephant (and it’s lift) somewhere it has room to roam.
    Fiona Folan
    Ballina Environment Society

  4. What a great idea! I for one would be proud I have the centre of excellence for our Winter athletes right here in Lennox. This can only be a good thing for our town.

  5. Imagine the outcry if this were a high rise apartment block! This will be Uglier, on a costal erosion zone, and flies in the face of all the science on future sea levels, and where’s the snow!! Who decides this nonsense? Time to make a noise if you don’t want this.

  6. please try to get informed before rushing to judgement and abusive comment. The athletes require water for their training which is why it cannot be built anywhere that water freezes (eg Jindabyne). Also it’s not just the training jumps – the new pool will be world class for water polo events. The sports tourism it will bring to Lennox is environmentally friendly and will generate visitors all year around. This is the most exciting news for tourism, sport, and jobs in our region, in memory.

  7. Won’t the Centre will be used primarily in summer months for training, not winter. The water won’t freeze in summer so that’s not a major consideration is it? It does seem strange to build a Centre related to snow sports so far away from the snow. Sydney would surely make more sense. Lennox Heads is a site with no connection to the snow or most people who ski/ snow board. Seems bizarre and a decision that won’t benefit the maximum number of people.
    Makes me wonder what else is influencing the decision.

  8. Leave Lennox Head and the locals who enjoy it alone.

    The mess at Byron Bay is bad enough. Now we have a plan to ruin Lennox head by building large buildings in the coastal heath which will intrude on our beach walks.

    The motivation for the council proposal to close down vehicular access and parking around the shores of Lake Ainsworth is now apparent.

  9. it is so hard to fathom how people can be so negative about something which is such a boon for the local community and economy – bring on the facility and all the benefits it will bring – as for Pete’s comment if it was to reverse the decision to remove the road that would be an added bonus – but somehow I cant see this current council listening to the community on that

  10. Let me give you some facts. A world class facility was originally built in Wandin, and this is where our gold medalists came from. Built, run and financed solely by two young men (at the time) with family support whose intention was only to see the sport prosper and have it available to those that had talent. It used to be those with money that could only afford this sport as they had to go overseas to train. They were not necessarily the ones with the talent. Without this facility this sport would have certainly died in Australia. It is the opinion of some that when it was handed to SSA to manage, they soon demolished the larger aerial jumps so that they could tell the QLD government that they didn’t have any where for their “elite” athletes to train, so the QLD government were going to build them a facility, then the government changed and of course the new government changed their mind. So not only did QLD not go through but because SSA demolished the only jumps that these “elite” athletes could use. They had created one big mess. So along comes Lennox Heads. In the mean time Wandin becomes more and more run down because SSA won’t spend any money fixing their mess. If it wasn’t for this place there would be no Kirsty, no Jacquie no Lydia, who would do well to be grateful and humbled for the facility they were able to use. In their day it was in great condition and as a matter of fact overseas competitors used to come to the Yarra Valley to train. This facility could have been fixed with a quarter of what is being spent and bought back to “a world class” facility. Sham sham sham SSA and those athletes that are bagging the facility in Wandin. What an insult to those that built it so they would have a sport to compete in.


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