Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness gathered with The University of Sydney and other esteemed guests on Wednesday 29 October to celebrate the official commencement of the redevelopment of the Oval No. 2 Grandstand.
Auntie Nora and Uncle Max, members of our Aboriginal community, commenced the official proceedings by welcoming guests to country with a smoking ceremony. Our continued ties with the Gadigal people of the Eora nation were further strengthened as we recognised their involvement and history with the University.
Vice Chancellor and principal of the University, Doctor Michael Spence, spoke of the importance of a holistic education at a tertiary level and the developmental opportunities which occur through participation in sport.
He continued by expressing that these holistic experiences can’t be matched through distance education, so our investment in sporting fields and facilities is essential to develop well rounded individuals.
Rob Smithies, Executive Director of Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness, also addressed the guests and publically thanked the University for their commitment and involvement in executing the redevelopment.
With the displacement of many clubs due to the removal of the HK Ward sporting facilities, both the University and Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness have been working tirelessly to provide a long term solution.
This will be achieved in two stages, of which one is already complete in the extension of the Sports & Aquatic Centre. This facility now boasts state of the art courts, boxing gym, DOJO facilities, a group fitness room and much more. The facility has received excellent feedback. Mr Smithies also spoke of the fantastic partnership between SUSF and The University of Sydney and thanked a number of key donors including the $1.5 million contribution from the soccer (football) community.
The redevelopment of Oval No.2 will represent stage two of this solution, which will provide much more than just a grandstand to view the field. Within the complex there will be indoor batting nets, club offices, an elite athlete gym, function room, and change rooms.
This will greatly assist in strengthening Sydney University’s reputation of offering exceptional new facilities across the campus and, more importantly, will offer a new home for many clubs to nurture excellence within our sporting teams.
To conclude the proceedings both Rob Smithies and Dr. Spence shared the duties of officially breaking ground on Oval No.2 with a golden shovel that represented the construction that is to come.
Guests were then welcomed to another outstanding facility in the Charles Perkins Centre for light refreshments and an afternoon tea, where they were able to view the exciting site plans for the Grandstand.