24 August 2022

Australian Taekwondo and Judo Base Recognised As Olympic Training Centre

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has officially recognised the Combat Australia National Performance Centre (NPC) for Judo and Taekwondo in Albert Park as an Olympic Training Centre.

The NPC becomes the eleventh Olympic Training Centre in the country, with Olympic Training Centre status recognising the role these facilities play in preparing Australian athletes to achieve international success and compete at the Olympic Games.

The Albert Park base is home to Australia’s top judo and taekwondo athletes, and features targeted and essential training equipment, with a world class performance analysis system including overhead cameras and video loop systems that enable in the moment observation, assessment and analysis by coaches and athletes.

Managed by the Combat Institute of Australia (CombatAUS), in partnership with the Victorian Institute of Sport, the NPC is the high performance base for Australian athletes chasing their judo and taekwondo Olympic dreams.

CombatAUS is the organisation responsible for the elite national High Performance programs for boxing, judo and taekwondo, owned by the sports in an innovative and collaborative shared high performance model.

AOC CEO Matt Carroll welcomed the Olympic Training Centre designation.

“The AOC is thrilled to recognise the Combat Australia National Performance Centre as an official Olympic Training Centre,” Mr Carroll said.

“Our member sports Australian Taekwondo and Judo Australia prepare and develop athletes from the community level to the world’s biggest sporting stage. This designation acknowledges the vital role of world class facilities in helping athletes achieve their Olympic dreams.

“With less than two years until the Paris Games, the current squad of judokas and taekwondo athletes will be pouring their time, energy and heart into their training at this centre. It’s exciting to know there are juniors on the pathway, who will be able to train here in an official Olympic Training Centre, chasing their own dream of competing at a home Games in 2032.”

Tokyo 2020 taekwondo Olympian Stacey Hymer said training in an official Olympic Training Centre gave her added motivation.

“The Olympic Games is the place to be for every athlete and having the Olympic rings on the wall is a reminder to reach new levels, to train harder, better and smarter to achieve our goals,” Hymer said.

“The centre allows me to interact with quality athletes and sets the scene for a professional environment. It’s my place of enjoyment and free exploration where I feel comfortable to push myself and test myself each and every day.” 

Dual Olympian judoka Nathan Katz moved to Melbourne in January 2022 to take advantage of the centre with his brother, fellow Olympian Josh Katz.

“Josh and I moved down because we believed in the premise of the combat centre and the team that we would be working with,” Nathan said. “It’s been of huge benefit having the core members of the national team in our daily training environment and I really believe this has helped each of us push and continue to elevate the standards of our team. Having a number of injuries and personal issues to deal with the support staff and services have been instrumental in getting me back on the mat competing healthily. 

“The next two years are built firmly around qualifying and setting myself up for a career best performance in Paris. Having experienced Rio alongside Josh but competing in Tokyo without him there’s nothing I want more than to be on the Olympic Team heading to Paris alongside him. Being able to train every day in a world class training centre is key to helping me achieve that goal.”

Judo Australia CEO Emma Taylor said, “The Olympic Training Centre recognition reflects the professional standards and outcomes being delivered by our National Performance Centre. Judo Australia values the support provided and our relationship with the AOC and we will strive to continue developing Olympians to proudly represent our sport and country. Our athletes will be inspired further every day when training under the Olympic rings.”

Australian Taekwondo CEO Heather Garriock added, "To have an official Olympic Training Centre reaffirms Victoria as a leading state for developing Taekwondo's Olympians and World Champions. Seeing the Olympic Rings while training will only inspire our next generation of athletes to be their best and we're really pleased to see the National Performance Centre become a verified training facility."

Combat Australia CEO Alex Vallentine concluded, "I'm incredibly proud that the CombatAUS National Performance Centre in Melbourne has been given Olympic Training Centre recognition. The Olympic Games are the pinnacle of world sport, so for our judo and taekwondo athletes to see those five Olympic rings proudly displayed in their daily training environment will be incredibly motivating."

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