The New South Wales Rugby League’s $30 million Centre of Excellence has opened at the Sydney Olympic Park, with NSW Blues greats such as Laurie Daley, Steve Roach, Andrew Johns, Wayne Pearce and Paul Sironen attending the launch. New South Wales Coach Brad Fittler has called the facility a game-changer.
The Centre will become the permanent home of the Blues, allowing them to settle after floating around the state for some time. In the past few years, they have used Coogee, Kingscliff and Coffs Harbour as training bases.
Fittler said that the facility will be a great training ground for the State of Origin team, which the Blues won last year. In addition, he commented that it is the ideal site for leadership programmes and other work youngsters who are interested in the sport. The site features a medical unit, café, museum, hydrotherapy centre, gym and full-sized stadium. As sports science increasingly influences who wins and who loses, Fittler said, the Centre would help take the NSW side to the next level.
A tunnel links it to ANZ Stadium and allows players to warm up and then walk down to the games in full view of their fans. This is intended to make spectators feel more included in the action, and more excited to watch the matches. As he was speaking on the importance of team performance, Fittler also stressed that NSWRL needed to make the events memorable for supporters as well as athletes.
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