Manager and head-coach of the Armidale City Gymnastic Centre Wally O’Hara welcomed $998,039 worth of State Government funding this morning, which will completely transform the current building into a highly acceptable venue.
Wally joked that the funding meant he wouldn’t have to put out the trampolines any more.
“They can stay permanently set up, and we can expand our program. We’ve got a lot of plans for additional programs for Armidale and for the State,” he said.
We currently run a number of programs that are regionally based.Wally O'Hara
”I rang the CEO of Gymnastics NSW and told him that we’d gotten our funding and that we would be going ahead with it, and he said ‘Alright, I’ve booked in a number of championships for Armidale’.
“We’ve got a multi-discipline competition that has been growing every year, where the boys and the girls and the rhythmic gymnasts and the trampolinists and all that, compete all on the same weekend. This now means we can expand that to include additional sports.”
Armidale Regional Council mayor Simon Murray said council was a very enthusiastic supporter of the project.
“If we can attract some national and international events here by expanding these facilities, it’s going to be a terrific venue for Armidale and the community as a whole.” he said.
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“It makes it a more efficient operation for the staff. With the new facilities they’ll be able to have dedicated areas that will make it a lot more efficient for running events.”
In announcing the funding, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall described the gymnastics club as an amazing one with more than 450 members.
The facility will be that good. It will be one of the best gymnastics facilities that you will find in country NSW.Adam Marshall
“To be able to double the size, to have international standard apparatus, purpose built in its correct location so the team here don’t have to be moving things all the time to create space will be a God-send.
“What it also does is give us the ability to host Country NSW and maybe even National Championships here. But, the benefits of this facility goes well beyond gymnastics and really training young people to train at a national and potentially Olympic level.
“Hunter New England Health with their occupational therapy programs use this facility for a lot of people for recovery, for people who have severe need or disabilities in the community.”
Mr Marshall said the club had worked towards gaining the funding for at least four-years that he was aware of and today’s announcement was wonderful news..