Doors Open at Apollo Projects Centre in Christchurch

Canterbury’s high performance athletes, who have been without a central training base since the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, have a new place to train and prepare for competition.

Above: Swimmer Matthew Hutchins tests out the in-water treadmill in the flume pool at the Apollo Projects Centre, during the official opening. 

The Apollo Projects Centre, a government-funded $3.5 million purpose-built high performance training facility in Christchurch, has today been officially opened.

The new centre includes a full-size netball court which is being used by the Canterbury Tactix for training, a high performance strength and conditioning gym, and a 40m long running straight where video analysis and electronic speed timing can be carried out.

High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) Chief Executive Alex Baumann says that with Canterbury’s high performance athletes now using the facility, the Apollo Projects Centre will be a vibrant training hub.

“Our role at HPSNZ is to provide a one stop shop for elite athletes, so that we can support them to perform on the world stage. We provide financial investment, we employ specialists to work with athletes and coaches, and we operate a network of world-class high performance training facilities throughout the country,” he says.

“I’m delighted that we now have this fantastic facility for Canterbury athletes to use. Elite athletes travelling in and out of Christchurch will also be able to train at the Apollo Projects Centre, and there are staff from a number of the sports we work closely with that are also based there.”

Sport New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin says that a unique feature of this high performance training centre is that some facilities, such as the netball court, will also be available for community use when not being used by elite athletes.

He says building the Apollo Projects Centre has been a collaborative effort.

“The Government has been committed to providing a new training base for Canterbury athletes since QEII Park was taken out of action in 2011. When we saw what had happened at QEII, we knew we had to move quickly, which we have done in getting this new high performance training centre officially opened today.”

Peter Miskimmin says significant contributions have been made to the centre by others who proudly support New Zealand’s elite athletes.

The building is owned by Sport New Zealand but has been built on land generously provided by Christchurch City Council within the precincts of the Jellie Park Recreation and Sport Centre complex, he says.

Mayor Bob Parker says it’s great that the city’s athletes will be able to train again at a high performance facility.

“The Council is pleased to have been able to assist with this worthwhile project by providing land at Jellie Park.  It has no doubt been a trying time for these athletes, who have been without a central location for training since the earthquakes.  These high calibre athletes will now be able to train and meet their full potential, continuing Canterbury’s proud sporting achievements.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) also contributed funds to ensure the centre featured state-of-the art strength and conditioning and other training equipment.

“We have been delighted to work with the International Olympic Committee to source this significant contribution on behalf of our Christchurch athletes,” says Kereyn Smith, Secretary General of the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

“In addition to helping fund the Apollo Projects Centre, the IOC also directly supported athletes in the wake of the 2011 quakes. The Olympic Movement is committed to athletes and their development,” she says.

Apollo Projects was engaged in 2012 to design and build the centre, and then also offered its support through a naming rights sponsorship.

Apollo Projects Group CEO Paul Lloyd says his organisation has quite literally been involved in the project from the ground up when building the centre, and is delighted to be able to offer the naming rights sponsorship.

“We’re really proud to be involved and to be able to support Canterbury’s elite athletes. This centre is something special.”


Background notes

The 2300 sq m Apollo Projects Centre was built by Apollo Projects, which was engaged in 2012 to design and build the facility.

The centre has a full-size netball court which is used by the Canterbury Tactix for training as well as for general testing and conditioning.  It has a high performance strength and conditioning gym that includes specialised equipment such as force plates for measuring power and acceleration.

There is a flume pool with an in-water treadmill for swim training and technique analysis. The in-water treadmill is used for injury rehabilitation and conditioning, and the Apollo Projects Centre is the first of HPSNZ’s high performance training centres around the country to have this.  There is also a cold water recovery pool and spa pool for athletes to use in their recovery programmes.

Adjacent to the netball court, there is a 40m long running straight where performance and technique analysts will be able to use video analysis and electronic speed timing.

The centre also has medical and rehab consulting rooms so specialist staff can provide timely and effective illness and injury diagnosis and management for athletes. 

There is an athlete lounge and study where athletes can rest, recover and refuel between training sessions. Athletes can use the study to catch up on university work or use it as a quiet space to relax. Workshops for athletes, run by HPSNZ’s Athlete Life Advisors, will also be held in the adjacent seminar room. 

The Apollo Projects Centre is available to all HPSNZ carded athletes, including those based elsewhere but travelling in and out of Christchurch. The Canterbury Tactix netball team is using the centre as their new training base. The centre will also be available for other user groups when not in use by elite athletes.

As well as Christchurch HPSNZ staff, the centre also has offices for Mainland Netball, Paralympics New Zealand, Athletics New Zealand, Rowing New Zealand’s Southern Regional Performance Centre, Triathlon New Zealand and Sport NZ staff.

The $3.5m facility has been funded by the Government with significant support from Christchurch City Council, the International Olympic Committee and Apollo Projects.

The centre is located at 295 Ilam Rd, Burnside, Christchurch.