AUSTRALIA’S MOST ADVANCED TRAINING FACILITY COMES TO LIFE
THE SPORTS HUB SUNSHINE COAST IS A HEALTH AND WELLBEING SPORTS CLUB AND A HIGH-PERFORMANCE MEDICAL CENTRE THAT CATERS FOR THE NEEDS OF THE SUNSHINE COAST COMMUNITY AND ITS ATHLETES
Seven years ago, over a cold beer at the Brothers Ruby Club, local sporting philanthropists and Sports Hub co-founders Shane O’brian and Clayton Williams were discussing the sad reality that impacts the region’s best athletes. They realised that our most talented athletes were forced to move away from their home and families to chase their sporting dreams.
The Vantage Homes director and Duporth Tavern publican saw an opportunity to create a world-class high-performance destination for professional and aspiring athletes to train and recover. It was their extraordinary vision, passion and determination which drove them to ultimately succeed where many others had failed.
Mr Williams, co-founder of The Sports Hub, said it had been a challenging sevenyear journey.
“There were many who thought it wasn’t possible and it wasn’t sustainable, some also believed that a not-for-profit model would work, some thought we’d gone mad,” Mr Williams said.
“This just made us more determined and we never lost focus of the outcome, which was to provide young athletes with the opportunity to remain on the Coast with their friends and families while they continue their personal development and pursue their dreams.”
Mr Williams believes the timing of the Hub was perfect.
“The Sunshine Coast University Hospital is the most advanced in Australia, so we are already seeing athletes travelling here for the best possible treatment. We have some very high-level sports medical professionals on the Coast who at the top of their field and we’re fortunate that many of the best are now located at the Hub,” he said.
“This exposure at the highest level of performance has been critical in attracting some of the best sporting teams in Australia. The Stadium is also a world-class facility, so it’s not hard to see why the Hub has been attracting so many teams into the area.”
The lake used for rowing, the aquatic centre and new AFL fields just down the road, accompanied by the fields surrounding the Sports Hub makes the facility an easy choice for training camps.
Shane O’brian who has a long history of supporting local sport including the Sunshine Coast Falcons describes the Sports Hub as the most rewarding project he has ever been a part of.
“We have been incredibly fortunate to attract the region’s best, including Sports Hub project manager, Peter Moriarty who was instrumental in guiding the Hub through each stage of its evolution,” Mr O’brian said.
“Stockland was an essential part of this journey, as where the Sunshine Coast Council, they were both incredibly supportive right throughout the project, without their support we may not have made it to the finish line, receiving $5M in funding from the Federal Government also had a huge impact.”
Mr Williams also acknowledged the support of Council’s Economic Development team.
“They are doing great things to attract sporting events to the Coast, this is great because it means the friends and family of local athletes can come to watch them compete, this level of support gives them the best opportunity to succeed.”
Since opening in July, the Sports Hub has attracted many of Australia’s best athletes and sporting teams who have secured their training camps at the Hub’s accommodation facility - Lake Kawana Accommodation which was specifically designed to cater for athletes and sporting teams.
The anticipation is already growing for the commencement of stage three of the
Hub. A licensed club which will operate like a surf club is set to distribute funds back into Sunshine Coast rugby league, rugby union and other sporting clubs. This will give further financial support to the clubs and their athletes, enabling them to become more competitive and financially sustainable.
Alex Surf Club general manager and Falcons chairman Ashley Robinson has also been a key player in getting the Sports Hub off the ground.
“Shane and Clayton have achieved something very special, which very few people would have the vision and the capabilities to achieve,” Mr Robinson said.
“Their intentions with this have always been in the best interest of our local athletes, not to turn a profit and I commend them for that.
“For the end result to be acknowledged as the best training facility in the country is nothing short of amazing. They brought their vision to life and have created a legacy on the Sunshine Coast that will benefit thousands of our future athletes.”
The Sports Hub is not a dream for the future, it is here now. Come in and check out what it’s all about at 26 Main Drive, Bokarina.