Pooled re­source a win­ner

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By KATE LEAVER

COTTES­LOE wa­ter polo player An­drew Ford was one of the first ath­letes to dip his toes in the re­cov­ery pools at the new $33.73 mil­lion WA In­sti­tute of Sport (WAIS) High Per­for­mance Cen­tre.

The UWA Tor­pe­does player, who has held a WAIS schol­ar­ship for one-and-a-half years, was among about 30 ath­letes given the op­por­tu­nity to test the new fa­cil­i­ties at the of­fi­cial open­ing last Wed­nes­day.

“It’s amaz­ing. It’s pretty ex­cit­ing to be able to use it in the fu­ture,” Ford said.

“It’s a big step up from our pre­vi­ous fa­cil­ity.”

The 19-year-old said the re­cov­ery fa­cil­i­ties would im­prove per­for­mance, along with hav­ing a good train­ing base.

ATH­LETES had al­ready made them­selves at home in the new WA In­sti­tute of Sport (WAIS) High Per­for­mance Cen­tre when it was opened last Wed­nes­day.

Sport and Recre­ation Min­is­ter Mia Davies and Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett cut the rib­bon, open­ing the new state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity in Mt Clare­mont.

The $33.73 mil­lion cen­tre in­cludes an in­door javelin-throw­ing fa­cil­ity, a five-lane run­way, con­di­tion­ing gym and re­cov­ery pools. The fa­cil­ity will be the main train­ing hub for WAIS ath­letes.

“It is a spec­tac­u­lar fa­cil­ity, un­ri­valled by any other state,” Ms Davies said.

“Com­ple­tion of the cen­tre is timely as ath­letes vie for se­lec­tion to rep­re­sent Australia in the 2016 Rio Olympics.”

Ms Davies high­lighted the cen­tre’s fo­cus on nur­tur­ing young ath­letes with fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing a sleep zone, kitchen and study area.

“They will have ac­cess to psy­chol­o­gists and nu­tri­tion­ists. Ath­letes need to live a bal­anced life,” she said.

Un­like the old build­ing, the cen­tre is fully ac­ces­si­ble for par­a­lympic ath­letes and wheel­chair users.

WAIS works with 250 ath­letes across 11 ded­i­cated sport­ing pro­grams in­clud­ing cy­cling, swim­ming, track and field, gym­nas­tics and hockey.

Ms Davies said the world-class cen­tre “raises the bar” for WA ath­letes.

This was cer­tainly the case for two pol­e­vaulters testing out the in­door throw­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

De­scrib­ing the cen­tre as “ex­tra­or­di­nary,” Mr Bar­nett said he was im­pressed with the new hy­drother­apy pools. “I’m sure th­ese will be a wel­come change for our ath­letes, who used to con­duct re­cov­ery ses­sions in wheelie bins filled with ice,” he said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d436654

Wa­ter polo play­ers Dayna O'Leary and An­drew Ford test the new fa­cil­i­ties.

Pic­tures: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d436654

Clock­wise from top: The new fa­cil­i­ties have made a real splash with elite ath­letes. Hockey player Kate Den­ning com­plet­ing an ex­er­cise rou­tine. Pole vaulter Nina Kennedy prac­tis­ing.

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