New sports centre all go
Athletes’ needs covered
Wanaka has moved into the big league with the official opening of a high performance training centre for toplevel athletes. The world-class facility is one of just a few Governmentfunded centres set up around the country focusing on specialised training and recovery support. An initiative between High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and Snow Sports New Zealand, the centre has a strength and conditioning gym as well as medical and rehabilitation rooms. In particular it provides winter sports athletes with a base to train off the mountain, including an outdoor trampol- ine for them to practise their tricks. Other specialised equipment includes ‘‘force plates’’ for measuring power and acceleration. Sports psychologists, physiotherapists, performance analysts and other specialist staff come from all over the country to work in the centre, along with those already based in Wanaka. HPSNZ chief executive Alex Baumann told guests at the opening last week for athletes to succeed and get medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics, they had to have appropriate training facilities. ‘‘You have to have the right people in the right positions first and foremost, and the right coaches and support. ‘‘And secondly, adequate resources.’’ Other high performance facilities around New Zealand include the National Training Centre in Auckland and Rowing New Zealand’s centre at Karapiro.
Hi-tech sports facility: Snow Sports New Zealand chief executive Marty Toomey (left) and High Performance Sport New Zealand chief executive Alex Baumann inside the new centre in Wanaka. Photo: Aimee Wilson