30 October 2008
Christchurch City Council has unveiled plans to redevelop part of QEII Park to accommodate expansion of the Academy of Sport South Island - in an area currently occupied by four squash courts.
The Academy of Sport South Island - the high performance partnership between the council and the Academy of Sport South Island - opened late last year and transformed QEII from a satellite operation of the Academy to the main South Island hub.
"Since then the Academy of Sport has gone from strength to strength and is already calling out for more space so it can offer a full range of services to athletes and coaches," according to Council Recreation and Sports Manager John Filsell.
"The Centre wants to offer sports science areas, fitness and testing facilities, hydro-therapy rehabilitation, spaces for hypoxicator training, areas designated for running, throwing, jumping facilities, video analysis etc - all from one location. This range of facilities is not available in a single location anywhere else in the country, and is especially valuable because of the close proximity of pools, track and indoor courts at QEII. These facilities will be put to use all day, every day," says Mr Filsell.
To make room for expansion to the Academy of Sport, QEII will lose its four older style squash courts - which currently receive very little use. The courts will close at the end of the year to make way for work to create seminar and interview rooms, sports science, fitness and testing facilities for the Academy of Sport.
Mr Filsell says the Council will work with regular users of the squash courts to find suitable alternative venues for them to play, or other fitness activities they can do at QEII.
"We know that almost all QEII squash players arrive at the park by car, so we know they have access to transport. There is a range of playing venues in the city - and this includes the five court public squash centre at Sockburn that was recently opened by Squash Canterbury - operating the facility under lease from the Council."
Work on the new Academy of Sport facilities at QEII will begin early in the New Year and should be complete by April 2009
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