PLANS for Ballarat’s newest indoor stadium are shaping up in line with major holistic sports precincts Melbourne Park and Geelong’s Kardinia Park.
The next stage bid to evolve Ballarat Sports and Events Centre, released this week, focuses on a strength and conditioning and learning centre.
Foundations works for the $24 million BSEC redevelopment began last month. This includes six new courts with a 3000-seat showcourt. Proposed new facilities will also add to the push for BSEC to offer a centre of excellence as a regional sports hub for training camps and state and national sport.
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Basketball Ballarat and Federation University formed a partnership to design a modern gym space and potential for research and activity with students and community members, like University of the Third Age and schools.
U3A Ballarat has been a strong supporter for the BSEC project with the opportunity for more floor space to run active classes, like dance. Under the next stage, U3A Ballarat leader Blake Gordon said this was a great chance to expand learning for the city’s seniors and semi-retirees.
We want this to be a place of learning as opposed to just an events centre. This is a chance to be learning about the body, to learn something entirely new.U3A Ballarat's Blake Gordon
Mr Gordon said a state-of-the-art gym and access to sports science students and experts could facilitate learning and help participants stay active later in life.
U3A participants are already actively involved in programs studying health and exercise for over-65s.
Wendouree Indoor Sports group is driving the new $5.14 million stage two stadium play in a bid to ensure greater access for community activity. This costing includes new three-on-three street basketball-style courts for round-the-clock community access in a fast new format to be introduced in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Basketball Ballarat chief and Wendouree Indoor Sports spokesman Peter Eddy said a strength, conditioning and learning centre would complement the redeveloped stadium, which was scheduled for completion in May next year, and other facilities across the region.
Wendouree Indoor Sports represents the region’s netball, basketball, badminton, Special Olympics, U3A and Federation University programs.
Mr Eddy said the next stage of the project aimed to further promote active recreation in western Victoria from a cross-section of sporting stakeholders in the Ballarat community. Ballarat also draws almost 500 basketballers and netballers from outside the city, including Hamilton, Warrnambool, Terang, Ararat and Maryborough.