New Athletics Home At Lakeside

New Athletics Home At Lakeside

Victoria Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty

Lakeside Stadium – Marking The Dawn Of A New Era For Athletics In Victoria

Victor P Taffa

Melbourne’s new home of athletics at Albert Park was officially opened at the Zatopek:10 Australia’s greatest 10,000 metre race by the Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty.

Mr. Delahunty said the opening of Lakeside Stadium signalled a new chapter for athletics in Victoria, offering top quality training and competition facilities for elite and grassroots participants.

“There’s no doubt there is a lot of tradition and prestige attached to the Zatopek: 10, which boasts names such as Ron Clarke and Steve Moneghetti as previous competitors.” Mr. Delahunty said.

“That’s why this event was a natural option to mark the official opening of athletics at Lakeside Stadium it will be the first elite event to be held here at Victoria’s new state of the art facility.

“Lakeside Stadium gives us another venue option to attract events big and small, while also providing excellent training facilities for the community and future champions.

“It also complements the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC), and this broader precinct which is now known as the Melbourne Sports Hub.” Mr. Delahunty said.

The Victorian Government has invested $67 Million in the redevelopment, which has seen the construction of international standard athletics competition facilities, including an iconic blue track, a new natural grass pitch for soccer, new electronic video board, a new northern grandstand and an upgrade to the 1926 heritage grandstand, which is now the headquarters for the Victorian Institute of Sport.

Synthetic playing fields and pavilion for community clubs in Albert Park were completed during the first stages of the project.

“Earlier this year we discovered that this project was significantly under-funded by the previous Labor government, who provided insufficient funds to deliver some very crucial aspects to this terrific facility.” Mr. Delahunty said.

“As a responsible government, we took the steps to resolve this and provided the necessary funding of $15 Million in the State Budget for the construction to continue, tonight’s opening is testament of that further funding.”

Mr. Delahunty said Lakeside Stadium would strike a good balance between supporting our future athletics stars and delivering access to local people, schools and community sporting groups.

“As the Minister for Sport and Recreation, one of my key objectives is to see more people, more active, more often.”

“This venue helps deliver this as it is designed to support grassroots sport, just as much as it caters for those who compete at the elite level.” Mr. Delahunty said.