Taekwondo is set to benefit after Disability Sports Australia announced their success in securing funding, through the NSW Office of Sport's Centre of Excellence, for a new facility that will provide more significant opportunities for athletes with a disability.
The $30.5 million dollar project application, led by Disability Sports Australia and the Blacktown City Council, was supported by several Paralympic sports including Australian Taekwondo.
Australian Taekwondo Chief Executive Officer, Heather Garriock, is thrilled with the announcement and the opportunities the Disability Sport Centre for Excellence will offer athletes in the Taekwondo community.
"We were delighted to support Disability Sports Australia and the Blacktown City Council in their application and come together with the other National Sporting Organisations for the benefit of all athletes with a disability,"
“Murray Elbourn and his team at Disability Sports Australia, the New South Wales Government, and the Blacktown Council have all worked extremely hard on this project and we’re incredibly grateful for their efforts,”
"Taekwondo is for everybody, and this facility will do so much to support our para-pathways program. We are very excited about the future of Taekwondo in this space."
The new facility, which is set to be built on the Blacktown International Sports Park site in Western Sydney's Rooty Hill, will enable lower funded sports with disability pathways, including Badminton, Boccia, Fencing, Goalball, Judo, Taekwondo and Volleyball, to work closely with Disability Sports Australia through their Sports Incubator to build capacity, gain participation, and develop disability talent leading into the 2032 Olympic games.
Disability Sports Australia Chief Executive Officer, Mr Murray Elbourn, said "This is a landmark grant outcome for disability sport in Australia and shows the value that collaboration can bring to the sectors who will be positively impacted by this decision. These seven disability sports can now focus on delivering stronger community pathway programs and enable more Australians with a disability to be more active, more often."
The establishment of the Disability Sports Centre of Excellence is the first of its kind in Australia and will allow state, national, and international training and competition. The extensive rebuild of Blacktown International Sports Park will also allow for collaboration with Western Sydney Health and Australian Catholic University to support high-performance pathways.
Funding for the Disability Sport Centre for Excellence is part of the New South Wales Government's $150 million Centre of Excellence Fund, a two-year program that aims to improve talent pathways for sporting, education and government organisations by providing funding towards the development of integrated high-performance sporting and community facilities.