QAS in Nathan Overhaul: Olympic Hopefuls Confront Training Centre Upheaval

QAS in Nathan

Queensland’s Olympic athletes could lose their state-of-the-art $10-million training centre, the Queensland Academy of Sports (QAS) in Nathan, if plans for a redevelopment push through. 

This looming demolition is part of Queenland’s broader $1.6 billion plan to revamp the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC), which houses the QAS. It raises alarms about the potential derailment of the athletes’ gold medal ambitions.

Esteemed Olympic athletes, including four-time Olympian Cate Campbell and Olympic Gold Medallist Glynis Nunn, have voiced their concerns, suggesting the move could severely impact Queensland’s prospects at the Brisbane Olympics

Ms Campbell and Ms Nunn, among others, fear that the demolition could force athletes to seek training facilities interstate, potentially sabotaging Queensland’s medal chances at upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Despite the potential changes, concrete plans have yet to be unveiled to accommodate the displaced athletes, leading to a chorus of opposition from the sports community.

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The Centre for Athletic Excellence

Opened two years ago by former Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the QAS in Nathan is a high-performance centre touted as Queensland’s “secret weapon” for Olympic and Paralympic preparation. 

Designed to provide athletes with a competitive edge, its potential demolition has sparked widespread criticism, including former Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, who recommended ditching the QSAC upgrades and questioned its financial rationale. 

QSAC or Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Mt Gravatt
Photo Credit: QSAC/Facebook

Olympic hockey gold medallist Renita Garard and the QAS’s former chief executive, Chelsea Warr have also expressed their opposition to the State Government’s plans.

Athletes and officials alike warn that even a temporary disruption in training could significantly affect performance outcomes. The uncertainty surrounding training facilities poses a challenge not just for current athletes but also for identifying and developing future talents for the 2032 Games.

Government’s Stance

In response to the backlash, State Development Minister Grace Grace has indicated that a detailed business case will outline the full scope and timeline of the QSAC upgrades. The government promises minimal disruption and pledges to work closely with stakeholders to mitigate the impact on athletes, especially in the lead-up to the Paris Games.