Minister of Sport Murray McCully said last Wednesday was a very important day for the Government at the official commencement of construction of the National Aquatic Centre at AUT Millennium.
He told the assembled dignitaries and stakeholders at the ground-breaking ceremony that investing in sport was important for Kiwi success. “This facility (AUT Millennium) was identified in a strategy I had endorsed by the Cabinet, two to three years ago,” he said.
The Minister was joined at the official ground breaking of the $22.5 million project by Sir Owen Glenn, Auckland mayor Len Brown, AUT chancellor John Maasland and AUT Millennium CEO Mike Stanley.
4,000 seater stadium
Scheduled for completion in July 2014, the 4000-seater facility will feature a 50 metre pool and also a 25 metre warm-up pool, catering for a variety of aquatic codes including water polo and surf life-saving.
The centre will allow AUT Millennium to bid for major events like Commonwealth Games and World Championships.
Sir Owen Glenn is one of the major contributors to the fund for the new centre as is Auckland Council which will contribute $13 million with further funding coming from the Lion Foundation.
Elite and community sport
Major Len Brown said he was delighted with what he saw when he visited the existing 50 metre pool at AUT Millennium prior to the ceremony.
“The young kids were going up and down the pool having a great time under the guidance of double Olympic gold medallist Danyon Loader.”
It is that combination of elite sportspeople and community sport working together that epitomises what AUT Millennium is all about he said.