Melbourne - a sports training destination

By Connie Lawson,2014-08-11 22:18
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Melbourne - a sports training destination

Melbourne - a sports training destination

    Melbourne offers an array of world class sporting facilities, which cannot be bettered by any other Australian city. Most are in close proximity to each other and within a few minutes of the city centre. All have easy access to world class accommodation, serviced by an outstanding road system and linked to efficient public transport. Further information on specific sports can be obtained by contacting the relevant state sporting organisation. Contact details are available from Sport and Recreation Victoria‟s “Find a Sporting Organisation” directory via

    Melbourne, through its outstanding facilities and sports loving population, is Australia's undisputed „sporting capital‟.

    Clean, safe, secure and fun - these are the qualities that resulted in Melbourne being voted the 'World's most liveable city' in 1990 by the Washington Crisis Committee. As the capital city of the State of Victoria, Melbourne draws its population from over 110 nationalities and is therefore Australia's most cosmopolitan metropolis. The following provides brief information on a range of sports and facilities within the State of Victoria:









    Events for Elite Athletes with a Disability (EAD)



    Football (Soccer):





    Modern Pentathlon





    Table Tennis



    Water polo




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    Archery: Melbourne offers a quality archery training and competition venue at Moorabbin, 30 minutes from the city centre. Moorabbin Archery Club provides sporting facilities from club level to Olympic standards. The club has occupied its present grounds since 1953 and has seen constant improvements made over the years to a stage where the facilities for Target Archery are among the best in the world. Facilities include: an outdoor target range, 34 permanent outdoor targets with a distance up to 90 metres and an 18 metre indoor range.

    Athletics: In addition to 100 sport-specific athletic centres, Victoria operates twelve high quality, fully equipped, synthetic tracks with excellent facilities which are all available to local and international athletes.

    Olympic Park is the training centre for Melbourne based Olympians. Originally built for the 1956 Olympic Games, it has been upgraded with first class urethane track and run-up areas for field events. Just ten minutes walk from the city centre it caters for elite training and competition requirements of all athletic events.

    Badminton: Victoria boasts seven dedicated badminton centres including the twelve international court complex in the state of the art Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

    Baseball: The premier dedicated baseball facility in Melbourne is the State Baseball/Softball Centre in Altona, just 25 minutes from Melbourne‟s city centre. The Centre features an enclosed main stadium with 2,000 seats, synthetic infield and TV standard lighting. It also has a second grass diamond with enclosed batting cages and bullpens.

    Basketball: Melbourne's outstanding facilities include competition and training venues seating up to 16,000 people. Training venues include the 39,000 square metre Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. This multi-sport venue (also catering for table tennis, badminton, squash and aquatic sports) will offer 8 dedicated basketball courts and a show court with 2,000-seat capacity.

    As well as quality playing facilities, visiting teams will have access to a state of the art weights gymnasium, sauna/spa, swimming pools and on-site sports medicine services.

    As a competition venue, the Vodafone Arena at Melbourne Park is a state of the art multi-sport facility, which has a seating capacity of 10,000.

    Many other excellent multi-court basketball venues are also available in Melbourne's suburbs and Victoria's larger provincial centres including Ballarat (The Minerdome), Bendigo (West Bendigo Sports Stadium) and Geelong (The Arena).

    Canoeing: Victoria has many natural canoe training courses including Nagambie Lakes with contemporary training, and competition equipment supported by 25kms of river courses and the Goulburn River, a contemporary white water course 75 minutes from Melbourne. The purpose-built National Water Sports Centre provides a two-kilometre flat-water course within 40 minutes of Melbourne.

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    Cycling: Victoria offers Australia's best training opportunities for all cycling disciplines including an international standard velodrome, Vodafone Arena and training venue at Darebin International Sports Centre, a diverse range of on and off road training options and unique alpine venues for mountain biking.

    Vodafone Arena is a $65.5 million multi-purpose venue, which includes an international standard velodrome with seating for 5,000, while there are 500 permanent seats located at Darebin International Sports Centre.

    Australia's best-known touring event is the VicHealth Herald Sun Tour, a ten-day classic, which attracts many international competitors. Participating cyclists experience a variety of terrain from the picturesque southern coastline through the central plains, to the challenging Victorian Alps in north-eastern Victoria.

    The 3 million Lysterfield Park Mountain Bike trials and State Mountain Bike Course comprises 20km of environmentally sustainable mountain bike trails and an international standard 6.3km State Mountain Bike Course used for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

    Diving: Melbourne's Sports and Aquatic Centre provides a full array of diving training amenities unequalled anywhere in Australia, including a pool deck Integrated Force Vector Visualisation System.

    A feature of the 75 metre main aquatics tank is a unique bubble tank, making this a world class diving facility. The diving tower includes 10m, 7.5m, 5m and 1m platforms as well as 3m and 1m boards. An Integrated Force Vector Visualisation System is permanently located on the pool deck and available for divers to enhance their performance.

    A 'dry' training area with boards and trampolines is also available to divers. Visiting divers can take advantage of the weights gymnasium, exercise room, sauna, spa, sports medicine/ rehabilitation centre and social facilities within the Centre.

    To complement the Melbourne based diving training program, a number of Victorian provincial cities have quality outdoor diving centres as part of regional aquatic complexes. These centres play host to diving tournaments coordinated by high standard diving officials and provide an opportunity to train and compete under a variety of conditions.

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Events for Elite Athletes with a Disability (EAD): Victoria leads the world in

    researching and developing sporting opportunities for people with disabilities. Victoria is a world leader in researching and developing strategies for the removal or reduction of barriers to sporting participation by the disabled.

    This is evidenced in the planning of major facilities. The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, is a 39,000 square metre indoor sports facility, which was developed after extensive consultation with community agencies. Servicing people with disabilities the venue has, lift access to its first floor, prominent signage, adjacent disabled car parking, specific disabled change rooms for both wet and dry areas, hoists, rails for pool entry, moveable floor in the multi-use pool and beach entry to the leisure pool.

    Melbourne Park National Tennis Centre, with its 29 courts and seating for 16,000, hosts the Australian Wheelchair Tennis Open and provides easy access to show courts, indoor and outdoor courts and its meeting/seminar rooms.

    Most of the 50 major community sport and recreation centres in Melbourne and throughout Victoria with two or more basketball-sized courts cater for badminton, basketball (including wheelchairs), volleyball and netball. They can be readily adapted to the popular disabled sports.

    Equestrian: Victoria has a number of equestrian centres where international riders and teams can train (including a quarantine centre with international training facilities). Most significant of these is Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre. It is an excellent world-class facility in scenic surroundings about half an hour from Melbourne.

    The Centre is the training and competition base for Australia's elite horses and riders. It has a full array of facilities including cross country, sand and grass dressage rectangles and lunging rings.

    Fencing: The National and State High Performance Fencing Centre, which is located 8km from Melbourne‟s CBD, is the National Team‟s training base. The Centre contains seven raised pistes and has five additional training pistes, all equipped with electronic scoring apparatus.

    Football (Soccer): Victorian soccer is a successful training base for the preparation and development of players for European and Asian leagues. There are two grass and 3 synthetic pitches located at the Darebin International Sport Centre and hosts a variety of international teams for training and play.

    Gymnastics: Melbourne's major gymnastics training facilities are located just 35 minutes from the city centre at Prahran, Bundoora and Bulleen. Each facility provides international level training under the supervision of highly qualified coaches, and features state of the art competition areas and training pits.

    The Gymnastics High Performance Centre, located in Prahran, 4km from the CBD, is without a doubt the best gymnastics training facility in the country. The purpose-built centre has three gymnastics areas, one for each program complete with pits, tumbling tracks and all the necessary training equipment.

    Major gymnastics events such as the national titles and international challenges utilise Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park (National Tennis Centre) which seats 16,000 spectators.

    Handball: Melbourne is the home of handball in Australia, with the Australian Handball Federation based in Melbourne.

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    Hockey: The State Netball and Hockey Centre is ideally situated as a hockey training venue with water based synthetic fields, and amenities surrounded by hundreds of hectares of public parkland, running and cycling tracks.

    The Centre has hosted many major international training teams and events and includes 2 international standard pitches with player and spectator amenities.

    Victorian Hockey is also serviced by 20 synthetic surface hockey fields, which cater for the major state league competitions.

    The top local competitions, Men's State League and Women's State League, are played from April until September. February and March are the best months to host international teams in Melbourne, when our national League teams are preparing for their season and are seeking top quality practice matches.

    Judo: A large range of Judo facilities are available throughout metropolitan Melbourne and country Victoria, with over seventy clubs and centres.

    Judo Victoria organises matches for visiting players and teams and can arrange internal travel and hospitality for visiting teams.

    Modern Pentathlon: Victoria is able to offer quality, centrally located, training and competition venues. The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (swimming), Werribee Park Equestrian Centre, High Performance Fencing Centre and The Melbourne International Shooting Complex are all located within 30 minutes of the city centre.

    Rowing: The Yarra River flows through the centre of Melbourne and is serviced by a number of well appointed rowing clubrooms. Popular with Melbourne's rowers, it offers 10 km of meandering water.

    The National Water Sports Centre at Carrum, approximately 40 minutes from Melbourne, is a purpose built 2,000-metre course for rowing and canoeing events.

    Victoria's larger provincial centres also offer rowing facilities. Geelong's Barwon River provides 5 km of rowing water and Ballarat's Lake Wendouree, used for the 1956 Olympic Games, is 2,000 metres in length.

    Lake Nagambie in central Victoria, has hosted the Australian Rowing Championships and altitude training camps are available in Victoria at Falls Creek.