17 January 2022

New National Performance Centre a win for Taekwondo athletes

17 January 2022

Melbourne is the new home of the Combat Institute of Australia's National Performance Centre, an athlete-centred performance facility for Australia's top Taekwondo and Judo athletes. 

The official opening saw representatives from the Sport Australia, the Victorian Institute of Sport, Australian Olympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Australia, CombatAUS, Australian Taekwondo and Judo Australia come together at Lakeside Stadium, the location of the National Performance Centre, for its official launch.

CombatAUS' Chief Executive Officer, Alex Vallentine, is extremely excited about the concept of the National Performance Centre and believes there will be significant benefits for athletes through these co-located programs.

"This centralised performance environment will maximise performance outcomes and deliver enhanced future international success for our Judo and Taekwondo programs," said Vallentine.

"The establishment of this centre would not have been possible without the significant support from both the Australian Institute of Sport and the Victorian Institute of Sport." 

AIS Acting CEO Matti Clements said the AIS was proud to support the formation and ongoing evolution of CombatAUS.

“The AIS has supported CombatAUS from its foundation, it provides the opportunity for a stronger, collective approach to Australia’s combat sports and helps maximise performance potential.

“The AIS has just increased funding to CombatAus by 35 per cent for the Paris 2024 Games cycle, which equates to more than $2.4m-a-year through to the end of 2024. We complement this with additional funding to CombatAUS member sports for their pathway programs.

“This total investment is about helping to develop and support world-class athletes, and this facility is another important step in Australian sport’s vision to build sustainable success.”

Australian Taekwondo Chief Executive Officer, Heather Garriock, is delighted with the ongoing development of Australia's elite Taekwondo athletes and what the opening of the National Performance Centre will offer.

"It's really pleasing to see a National Performance Centre come to fruition. Our high-performance athletes now have a place to train and access the support required to grow and develop," said Garriock.

"Seokhun Lee, Korea's former head coach, has recently been appointed as the National Coach for the taekwondo high-performance program, so we are very excited about the future potential of our athletes on the world stage. It's an exciting time for Taekwondo."

Judo Australia's Chief Executive Officer, Emma Taylor, echoed Vallentine's and Garriock's sentiments and is pleased to see the partnership between the three organisations continue to strengthen. 

"It's exciting to have this opportunity for our elite judoka – a focused environment providing the best program to deliver world-class performing athletes. Our partnership with CombatAUS, together with Australian Taekwondo, has made our first ever national training program possible."

The National Performance Centre is located at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park, adjacent to the Victorian Institute of Sport, and supports Taekwondo's and Judo's full-time athletes.

CombatAUS, together with Australian Taekwondo and Judo Australia, provide contemporary technical leadership to ensure the strategic direction of both sports in Australia excels. 

All three organisations are excited to see the benefits of the National Performance Centre to athletes as they prepare for the Paris Olympic games in 2024.  

CombatAUS is an innovative and collaborative partnership between the various combat sports and has allowed initiatives such as the National Performance Centre. A similar environment is being explored in Queensland for Boxing, in partnership with the Queensland Academy of Sport.

Australian Taekwondo is the National Sporting Organisation representing Taekwondo in Australia and is a recognised Member National Association of World Taekwondo, the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia. 

Judo Australian is the National Sporting Organisation representing Judo in Australia and is a member of the International Judo Federation, Australian Olympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Australia and Paralympics Australia.

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