Check out the Sports Hub spe­cial fea­ture


Life & Style Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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