Concept plans have today been unveiled for the $20 million Newcastle Knights Centre of Excellence.

NSW Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres joined Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald and Venues NSW boss Paul Doorn in Broadmeadow today to announce the designs and project funding, which comes from both the state government and the Wests Group.

A four storey building will be constructed at the southern end of McDonald Jones Stadium, as well as some accommodation for country kids getting started in NRL.

“There’ll be across the board support for everyone trying to get involved in the game [through collaboration with the University of Newcastle],” Scot MacDonald said, “whether that be through nutrition and how to recover from injuries…”

Three new fields will also be built on the park side adjacent to the Centre of Excellence.

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Knights CEO Philip Gardner said the Centre will serve more purposes than just supporting the team.

“The focus is on speed, agility and strength; those things that are common to all sports,” Mr Gardner said.
“It will be an opportunity for all talented kids to be able to access that facility…It’s a fantastic opportunity for rugby league and indeed for all sports who want to have elite pathways…”
Philip Gardner believes construction is hoped to begin by the end of this year, with a completion date around late 2019 or early 2020.
“If the Knights want to compete at the highest level in their sport they need a Centre of Excellence,” the CEO asserted, “If you want to compete at that level and attract talent, you need to have these facilities.”

Image: Newcastle Knights