Find Out More About the Ski Jump Training Facility

Pictured above: ski jump training facility in Colorado—does not necessarily bear any resemblance to the Lennox Head plans

On Monday, 4 July 2016, residents of Lennox Head have an opportunity to hear about the facility proposed for Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Camp. Guest speakers will be Mr Paul Doorn, Executive Director of Sport and Recreation and Mr Jason Dwyer, Manager of Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation.

The Lennox Head Residents’ Association extends an invitation to attend our meeting in the CWA Hall, behind the Lennox Community Centre, from 7pm. This is your opportunity to learn first hand about the plans and have your questions answered.

Information Evening Summary

On Friday night 24th June, around 30 people took the opportunity to find out more about the plans for a ski Jump at the Lake Ainsworth Department of Sport and Recreation camp. There was also a screening of the movie length documentary ‘The Will to Fly’ about Australian Freestyle Aerial skier Lydia Lassila.

A mix contingent of representatives gave a brief information and Q &A session, led mainly by Paul Doorn, Executive Director, Sport Infrastructure Group, Office of NSW Department of Sport and Recreation, and Olympic Winter Institute of Australia Chairman Geoffrey Henke.

One of the major concerns from locals on the night was the lack of community consultation on this plan. Officials assured the crowd that the reason we haven’t heard anything so far, is because no funding had been allocated. The plan is not approved yet, now that funding has been allocated consultation will begin and there is still time for residents to have their say.

The next largest concern from locals voiced on the night is that of the visual impact. People are keen to know whether it will visually change the aspect of Lennox forever. What will it look like, and where will it be visible from?

The answer offered was that the Ski Jump is a structure (similar to steel scaffolding) not a building (or indoor ‘dome’). It will consist of seven different ramps side by side, each approximately 2 meters wide, of varying lengths and heights. The highest is about 30 metres (approximately the height of the pine trees on the property).

Early plans show a steel construction, but planners have now opened up investigation to perhaps change the structure to timber or using any other applications that can soften impact, be more suited and blend into the surrounds.

The plans are to use the current area between existing buildings to construct an Olympic sized swimming pool and ramps. The new pool we be very deep and also house 2 water polo courts.

Contrary to rumours, jumpers will not land in the lake. Nor does the training have anything to do with snow or cold temperatures. Athletes will come here to work on their aerial and aerobatic skills only—summersaults and spins practiced and learned over the safety of a deep swimming pool.

Lennox Head has been chosen because it has a favourable year around climate for training. Snow seasons are discontinuous and split between hemispheres, and currently our Australian Team athletes are based at a similar facility in Salt Lake City USA. Reducing the tyranny of distance with a home base will reduce not only travel but accommodation costs for our tax payers funding the sports program but also reduce travel times for our athletes.

Our proximity to transport and both domestic and international Airports also came into play in the decision, as did the fact that the NSW State Government owns this land.

The Australian squad including athletes, coaches and medical staff will be around 30 and no more than 50. The camp will offer accommodation but some will opt for local rentals. The team would also attract visitation from family and friends.

During our summer and peak periods the teams are mostly travelling and competing overseas. It is expected most usage will run from and between periods April to July then to September. The facility is hoping to attract Northern Hemisphere international teams in their summer (our winter through to spring).

NSW policy prevents individuals from using facilities such as this, but it is possible that local organisations will be granted some access.


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