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 www.sport.vic.gov.au.
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)
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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.
Victoria holds rowing competitions year round, with top-class events and regattas in January, February and March, which welcome entry from international teams.
Rowing has an Intensive Training Centre under the National Olympic Athlete Program based in Victoria. This program is co-resourced by the Victorian Institute of Sport.
Shooting: Melbourne's many shooting training venues include the International Shooting Club, which has a 10-metre indoor range, 25m and 50m ranges. A recent upgrading to the electronic target technology enhances the centre to enable it to host training in all pistol and small bore events.
Melbourne also offers several centres for training and competition in the shotgun disciplines. Centres at Lilydale and Frankston, both within one hour of Melbourne, provide great opportunities for elite shotgun participants in trap, double trap and skeet.
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Softball: The State Softball/Baseball Centre is Melbourne's premier softball training venue, located in Altona, within a 20-minute drive from Melbourne's city centre. The Centre features an enclosed stadium that seats 2,400 people, synthetic infield, batting cages, quality change rooms and secondary field with 3 diamonds.
Melbourne has a proud history of hosting international softball tournaments at the State Softball/Baseball Centre and at Jells Park Women's Recreation Centre.
Softball is played throughout the year in Victoria, with the major elite competition between October and April.
Swimming: Competitive swimming has been Australia's strongest Olympic sport for decades. The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre is a fully integrated, state-of-the-art facility which brings Melbourne to the forefront of competitive swimming.
The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre offers a new 50m pool that hosted events for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, a unique 75 metre pool tank (configured to a 50 metre section for competition swimming), a 25 metre warm-up pool, a leisure pool as well as a full weights gymnasium, sauna, spa and sports injury rehabilitation centre.
Melbourne's many other indoor aquatic training centres are also available all year round for international training. However, Victoria hosts most of its competitions between January and April.
Table Tennis: Melbourne is the home of Australian table tennis and the sport's elite athletes. The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre is Australia's largest dedicated table tennis facility, with 25 international standard courts in a central multi-sport venue.
Visiting teams have access to the Centre's weights gymnasium, exercise room, sauna/spa, swimming pool and in-house sports medicine/rehabilitation centre. Alternative training facilities are available in major provincial centres, including Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat.
Triathlon: Australia is one of the leading nations in the sport of triathlon with Victorian triathletes accounting for a large part of this success. The thousands of hectares of parkland close to the city centre, with running and cycling tracks, provide an ideal training base in conjunction with the many high standard indoor aquatic facilities.
Volleyball: Victoria has 50 large multi-sport indoor facilities capable of hosting international volleyball training and competition. Beach volleyball has rapidly developed in popularity and there is a wide range of beachside and indoor beach volleyball training centres available within 20 minutes of the city centre. A State Volleyball Centre is currently under construction and due for completion in 2007 incorporating 6 volleyball courts, 3 beach indoor courts and associated amenity.
Water polo: The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, a state of the art indoor sports and aquatic complex only 5 minutes from the city centre, offers a unique 75 metre pool tank with a minimum depth of 2.1 metres. The pool has moveable booms enabling configuration to two international standard water polo pools or four separate 25 x 18 metre competition practice pools.
The Centre also provides an additional 25 metre warm-up pool and a leisure pool complex, as well as a fully equipped weights room, aerobic and exercise areas, sauna, spa and sports injury rehabilitation centre. A number of other metropolitan aquatic centres are available for competition and training including the Hawthorn Recreation Centre and a water polo pool at Melbourne High School, only 3km from the city centre.
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Weightlifting: The Mermet Victorian Weightlifting Stadium is the training base of Australia's elite weightlifters and attracts overseas lifters for regular training and competition. The Stadium also provides a permanent administration home enabling the sport to concentrate on its development, including the delivery of elite training programs and the opportunity for talent identification through schools void of gym facilities accessing the centre.
Wrestling: A purpose-built wrestling centre at Victoria University of Technology, Footscray, is Australia's major training and competition base for wrestling. The University provides a range of support services such as gymnasium, weight and exercise programs for wrestlers, under the coordination of Australia's top coaches.
Yachting: Port Phillip Bay is highly regarded around the world as an ideal yachting training and competition waterway, providing 29 nautical miles by 36 nautical miles of enclosed deep water with minimal tidal influence. There are 36 bayside yacht clubs with excellent amenities and services. A number of international events provide outstanding preparation for overseas sailors.
Further Information on Melbourne - a sports training destination
Please contact Sport and Recreation Victoria:
Telephone: 03 9208 3333
Fax: 03 9208 3520
1 Spring Street
GPO Box 2392
Melbourne Victoria 3001
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