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21 January 2020
Attracting high-performance athletes to train in Hawke’s Bay became easier last year with the opening of the world-class EIT Institute of Sport and Health. Under the stewardship of the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust, the new facility aims to promote healthier living among all walks of life in the region.
Crombie Lockwood is one of many local companies and organisations that provided support for the new $15 million sports and health centre, opened in July 2019 at Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings.
The centre is called the EIT Institute of Sport and Health and is owned and operated by Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust (HBCFCT).
“We were very proud to be involved with arranging the contract works and the insurance for the new building,” says Crombie Lockwood Hawke's Bay Branch Director, Trevor Beard.
"This facility is expected to have such a positive impact on health and wellbeing here; which is something we're passionate about. Like many other local businesses, we initially began supporting the Hawke's Bay Sports Events & Education Consortium (HBSEEC) around five or six years ago.
The HBCFCT is a charitable organisation with governance representation from the Eastern Institute of Technology, Sport Hawke’s Bay, Hawke’s Bay Sports Events & Education Consortium. There are also four independent trustees, including Trust Chairperson, Sir Graeme Avery.
“Our overarching vision for this project was twofold; first and foremost, we wanted to help Hawke’s Bay people live longer, healthier lives,” says Sir Graeme. “Alongside this we are passionate about supporting local sporting talent. Hawke’s Bay has an abundance of emerging young athletes, and it would be a great thing to be able to grow future Olympians right here in our own backyard.”
EIT Faculty of Education, Humanities and Health Science Executive Dean Professor Natalie Waran says that the Institute of Sport and Health provides students in the region with a wonderful opportunity to learn in a real-world environment.
“We are now able to work closely with different groups of people, tackle real community health and wellness issues and take advantage of working alongside experienced practitioners from different backgrounds,” she said.
Sir Graeme says the opening of the EIT Institute of Sport and Health enables the HBCFCT to deliver leading programmes across a wide range of targeted community groups, in a bid to help people on their individual journeys to be the best they can be.
“The generous support we have received to date has made this all possible, and for that we are very grateful. Ultimately, this facility has been built by the people of Hawke’s Bay, for the people of Hawke’s Bay. It’s a community-owned asset that we hope will become a source of pride for our region and everyone in it.”
As to the Bay’s obvious merits when it comes to adopting a healthier lifestyle – or, indeed, training at any given sport’s professional peak – Trevor Beard says the local lifestyle works perfectly.
“Thanks to our climate, our terrain and the ability for the community to get around the place without sitting in traffic, the Bay really is the perfect place for high-performance athletes to base themselves while training.
“We have world class facilities here matched with a world class lifestyle. And behind all of that we have a fantastically supportive business community, helping ensure our community has access to some of the best sports and health facilities in the country.”