Central Coast Mariners today welcomed a host of national and local dignitaries and guests to an event celebrating the commencement of work on the clubs’ Centre of Excellence in Tuggerah.
Led by Minister for Sport, the Honourable Senator Mark Arbib, the event involved a ceremonial breaking of the ground at what will soon be the clubs’ state-of-the-art training and recovery base.
A number of other dignitaries were also present, including Central Coast Mariners Chairman, Mr Peter Turnbull, Federal Member for the seat of Dobell, Mr Craig Thomson, Mayor of Wyong Shire Council, Mr Doug Eaton, and Managing Director of North Construction, Mr Tim Cornish.
While Stage One of construction on the site began in early July, the event nevertheless proved a resounding success with Senator Arbib telling the media gathered of the “powerful force” sport can have within the Central Coast region.
“The best thing about this facility is that it’s not just going to be a facility for the Mariners, it’s going to be a facility for the people of the Central Coast,” Senator Arbib said.
“The thing I love about the Mariners most, and the thing they are renowned for is the way since their inception that they have embraced their local community. The Mariners, I think more than any other club in the A-League, has gone into the community and has spent countless hours and time partnering with organisations to ensure that everyone gets the chance to play football.”
“Sport is such a powerful social force. The Mariners are using it on the Central Coast and it’s inspired people here to play sport and get involved.”
Mariners Chairman Turnbull paid tribute to one of the club’s founding shareholders, Mr David King, before elaborating on the benefits the complex will afford not only the Mariners, but also all young, ambitious Australian footballers.
“Today is a day that we’ve been waiting so long to happen, it’s a day that many people thought might not arrive, but it has arrived,” Turnbull said.
“I’d like to pay tribute to one of our founding shareholders, Mr David King, who had the vision that the Central Coast could support a national sporting team, and took the great leap when not many other people around the country did do.”
“This is part of the Mariners vision to be the club of choice in Australia, where we’ll be providing our opportunities and facilities for the best use of the region and also the best use in the country. We expect that any talented footballer will be aspiring to play for the Central Coast Mariners because we’ll have the best facilities, we’ll have the best coaching, and we’ll have the best development pathway of any club in the country”.
Development of Stage One of the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence includes the construction of a ten court 5-a-side Soccer Centre, an Aquatic and Hydrotherapy Centre, a tournament sized football field, an Amenities Block, as well as associated infrastructure. All these facilities will be made available for public use.
When fully finished, the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence will feature:
• Two full-size football field and a grandstand for up to 3,000 fans;
• A function, event and reception centre for club and community use;
• Up to ten all-weather sports courts for 5-a-side soccer and other sports use;
• A heated aquatic and hydrotherapy centre for community use;
• A gym and fitness centre for community use;
• Facilities for delivering educational learning programs;
• A sports medicine centre; and
• Amenities and car parking facilities and an upgrade to the Wyong Road Roundabout