A new Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games international standard hockey pitch at the Sports Super Centre, Runaway Bay has been named in honour of gold medal winning Hockeyroos captain Nikki Hudson.
The new pitch, build as part of a $5 million Palaszczuk Government upgrade of the Sports Super Centre, will be a GC2018 training venue for Commonwealth’s hockey elite.
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It was today named the Nikki Hudson Hockey Centre by Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games, Stirling Hinchliffe.
“This is a fitting tribute to a Queensland sporting great; a prolific striker, goal scorer and national captain who helped the Australian Hockey team to an Olympic and two Commonwealth gold medals,” Minister Hinchliffe said.
“Nikki tallied more than 300 international games for Australia during an inspiring career which included 99 goals and in 2006 received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
“I hope by naming this training facility in honour of Nikki Hudson it will inspire a new generation of Queenslanders to international hockey success.
“The Nikki Hudson Hockey Centre is another example of the GC2018 Commonwealth Games infrastructure legacy.”
Today I was very humbled and honoured to officially open the new… https://t.co/2eLsxuAbh6
— Nikki Hudson OAM (@NikkiHudson32) December 6, 2016
The GC2018 $5 million upgrade to the Queensland Department of Education and Training facility includes a new world-class athletics track and field, in addition to an international-standard, synthetic hockey pitch.
Education Minister Kate Jones said the Sports Super Centre and the Nikki Hudson Hockey Centre were already providing sporting opportunities for young people across Queensland.
“Well beyond the 2018 Commonwealth Games, school students from across the state will be able to benefit from these world-class facilities,” Ms Jones said.
“We’re proud Nikki has agreed to lend her name to the pitch and I know a generation of future hockey stars will be excited to play on a field named for one of Australia’s great players”.
Nikki Hudson said some of her fondest hockey memories were from training at the Sports Super Centre.
“Being here today to accept this dedication is a very humbling experience and an absolute honour, so thank you very much,” Ms Hudson said.
“Standing on this fantastic new, elite hockey pitch, it is easy to see the Sports Super Centre has coming into its own as an official training venue for GC2018.
“I know this hockey pitch is and will continue to be a well-used Commonwealth Games legacy asset for local, state, national and international athletes and teams, as well as school students, for many years to come.
“With the Gold Coast Hockey Centre just down the road also being upgraded for GC2018, it is obvious the northern corridor of the Gold Coast is fast-becoming a big player on the global hockey scene.”
Minister Hinchliffe said in addition to becoming a long-term Commonwealth Games legacy asset, the Runaway Bay facility had delivered job opportunities for the Gold Coast.
“Design and construction of the new hockey pitch and track involved seven local companies with more than 80 workers playing a part in construction,” Minister Hinchliffe said.
The upgrade of the Nikki Hudson Hockey Centre and the new track and field are part of a $320 million GC2018 Commonwealth Games venue construction program.
Sports Super Centre Director Brendan Flynn said the facility would welcome elite athletes from across the Commonwealth in 2018 and use the Games to leverage future opportunities.
“Beyond 2018, the upgrades will enable the Nikki Hudson Hockey Centre to attract further international training opportunities and competitions, sports groups, schools and others to train, play and stay on the Gold Coast,” he said.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will run from 4 – 15 April 2018.
For more information on the Games visit: www.gc2018.com.