Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM joined Olympic champion Cathy Freeman OAM to officially open the Blacktown Exercise, Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub — the newly constructed $100-million facility that was fully-funded by Blacktown City Council.
The hub is located within the Blacktown International Sports Park, which was the venue for Sydney’s 2000 Olympics softball and baseball competitions.
BEST offers state-of-the-art facilities for training, sports medicine, rehabilitation, research and educations as well as provides accommodation, a large café-restaurant and a play area for children of all ages and abilities.
Bleasdale stated that the hub was a $100-million investment in the health and future of the communities of Blacktown City and Western Sydney.
“BEST is a game-changer for sports in Western Sydney providing the very best facilities in sports sciences, training and rehabilitation,” said Bleasdale.
The hub was designed in collaboration with the Australian Catholic University (ACU), Sydney West Sports Medicine, AFLNSW and WentWest.
During the opening event, Cathy Freeman said: “I love the fact that there is such diverse community in Blacktown City, including a vast First Nations community who will be able to use BEST and make it work.”
Freeman stated that the hub provides an opportunity for the community to connect, adding great value to Blacktown City.
ACU’s exercise, sports science and high-performance sport programs are now located within BEST and utilises Australia’s most innovative integrated sport, health and education precinct.
ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis said: “BEST has the capability to provide injury recovery and treatment, accommodation, active lifestyle engagement, exercise and Sport Science education and research in one place which is invaluable for our students and staff.”
The design team of ARM Architecture and Co-op was responsible for developing the design of BEST.
The hub was constructed by Buildcorp and Architectus designed the landscape and physical literacy area.
Buildcorp Group Managing Director Tony Sukkar said: “We have proudly engaged over 1000 workers across 55 trades on the site, many from the local area. Having travelled the world, I can say BEST is a benchmark for high performance for teams, better than anything around the world.”
The BEST Hub consists of a strength and conditioning suite, aquatic recovery pools, an auditorium, all-weather playing field, a physical literacy space, a modern hotel, and a café.