Current and emerging para-athletes will benefit from the Australian Government’s investment in a new community, education and events centre at The Hangar at Tullamarine.
The new development features accessible training and accommodation facilities for para-athletes, a theatre and meeting rooms at the Essendon Football Club’s base which is also home to Paralympics Australia in Victoria.
An Australian Paralympic Sport Hall of Fame is also part of the development at the Hangar which Paralympics Australia have shared administration and training facilities with Essendon since 2013.
This centre is part of a $21 million expansion of the facility, with the Australian Government contributing $4 million to support purpose-built facilities for para-athletes.
Additional funding was provided by the Essendon Football Club and Victorian Government.
Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck said the centre would also benefit the wider community.
“This facility will enable more para-athletes to realise their sporting potential and it also provides increased opportunities for people with a disability to enjoy sport and pathway programs,” Minister Colbeck said.
The centre will support a range of Paralympic sports including table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
“The Australian Government is pleased to invest in projects that get more Australians involved in sport, bring communities together and support our elite athletes to pursue sporting success on the global stage.”
The 32 bed, nine dormitory accommodation, which is fully accessible, has been available for use by Paralympic athletes and teams since March 2021 and was a key facility in preparation for the recently held Tokyo Paralympics.
Minister Colbeck said the addition of accessible onsite accommodation will also make it easier for athletes and coaches attending Paralympics Australia camps at Tullamarine.
“Our Paralympians displayed incredible talent, teamwork and resilience to claim 80 medals including 21 gold at the Tokyo Paralympics and are a huge source of inspiration to all Australians,” Minister Colbeck said.
“As we turn our attention to the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games in March, these new facilities will help us increase participation at a higher number of training camps which will assist with high performance development and Paralympic talent identification, verification and retention.
“It will also be invaluable in the decade-long lead up to Brisbane 2032.
“More importantly, I hope it inspires more people with disability to participate in and enjoy sport from grassroots right up to elite level competition.”