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National sports training institute to open in 1981
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25 January 1980


-A National Sports Training Institute is due to open

in Canberra early in 1981.

The Minister for Home Affairs.,Mr Bob Ellicott » , announced

today that the Government had decided to establish the

Institute. The decision followed preliminary consultations

with sports officials and national sporting bodies.

"In deciding to set up the Institute the Government has

recognised that, if young Australians are to have an

opportunity to pursue their interest in sport to a high

level, Australia would need to give potential top class

sports men and women access to specialised coaching

programs while, at the same time, allowing them to pursue

their studies", Mr « Ellicott » said.

"From overseas experience it has become obvious that if

they are: to have full opportunities, our athletes must

be able to train and compete without necessarily sacrificing

their education or careers" he said. "

Mr « Ellicott » said the new Sports Training Institute would '

use a number of existing and proposed facilities.


. .1 . .

Those attending the Institute could undertake a ί '


new Gojvernment funded sports course at the Canberra

College of Advanced Education and use the nearby

National Athletics Stadium in the Canberra suburb of

Bruce, a new indoor sports centre being built there

'and other sporting facilities in Canberra.

As well as students enrolled in the special Canberra

College of Advanced Education course, students enrolled

in general courses at the College and possibly the

Australian National University and the Bruce College of

Technical and Further Education who wanted specialised

coaching,would also be able to attend the Institute.

It was also intended that,if practicable, athletes who

did not wish to pursue a tertiary course would be able

to come to the Institute for top training. Approximately

20 places would be offered in the first year in the

specialised course and some scholarships would be


"Initially the Institute will be funded and administered

through the Department of Home Affairs", Mr « Ellicott » said.

"But the Government intends that the Institute, which will

have its headquarters at the Bruce Indoor Sports Training

Centre, will eventually become an independent body.


"I envisage that a highly qualified Director will be

responsible for the operation of the Institute under the

guidance of a Board of Management drawn in part from

sportsmen and women around Australia. Up to five top

coaches will be appointed initially to the Institute staff",

he said. It was vital to the success of the project that

top coaches be engaged. .

Mr « Ellicott » said that the Government was holding detailed

discussions on the operation of the Institute with

representatives from various sports. Needless to say not

all sports could be encompassed. As a beginning,..consideration

was being given to athletics, swimming, basketball, tennis,

soccer, gymnastics, weightlifting and netball. .

Mr « Ellicott » said that in addition to Government scholarships,

he felt sure that private enterprise would also support the

venture by providing scholarships for individuals to attend

the Institute for training. .

The Minister .said it was a pilot project and he hoped it

would lead to the setting up of a number of similar ,

institutions around Australia. .


No. 6 of 1980