They are one of the most decorated teams in Australian sport and the NSW Swifts are looking to the future with today’s announcement that the Club is set to move operations to Sydney’s Moore Park as part of a $65 million project being run in conjunction with the Sydney Swans and Playbill Venues.
The Swans, one of the country’s must successful AFL teams, and Playbill Venues, who have operated the Royal Hall of Industries (RHI) and Hordern Pavilion for the past 18 years, have joined forces to lead the project which will revitalise the historic buildings and create a new sporting, community and outdoor entertainment space.
The RHI, with the help of the NSW Government, will become a new headquarters for the Sydney Swans and the NSW Swifts, with an international standard netball court part of the new shared High Performance and Community Centre.
Education charities for Indigenous Australians, the GO Foundation and the Clontarf Foundation – as well as the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Donation Centre – will also be based there.
While the timeline on the project is yet to be confirmed, Carolyn Campbell, CEO of Netball NSW, said this was a historic announcement for the Swifts and one the Club and wider netball community would reap the benefit of.
“This is a very exciting day for both the NSW Swifts and Netball NSW,” she said.
“Not only will the Swifts have access to first class facilities but we also plan on making the netball facilities available to local community-based clubs in the region when they are not in use by the Swifts, therefore this is also a community project.
“We have had a long-standing partnership with the Sydney Swans since 2008 and today’s announcement is a further strengthening of that.
“Our priority is to find the best facilities possible for the Swifts to help them excel on court, and keep bringing success to New South Wales. I know that the new High Performance and Community Centre in Moore Park will be world class and of huge benefit to us.
“Having successful teams at the top level is vital when it comes to growing netball. The Swifts, under the guise of the Sydney Swifts and NSW Swifts, have five Premierships in the trophy cabinet and inspired countless young people to take up the game.
“But we must keep pushing ahead and ensure growth, in terms of exposure and participation, is never taken for granted. Today’s announcement helps us to keep the Swifts and netball community moving in a very positive direction.
“I would like to thank the Sydney Swans and the NSW Government for their continued commitment to netball in this state and look forward to working with them closely as we get the project underway.”
Sydney Swans Chief Executive and Managing Director Andrew Ireland echoed Campbell’s sentiments about the new facility helping both sports flourish, and is looking forward to the AFL team’s continued partnership with the Swifts.
“This is an historic announcement that will strengthen the Sydney Swans’ partnership with the NSW Swifts by bringing football and netball together under the one roof,” Ireland said
“Together the new Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre will provide the best opportunity for everyone involved with the Swans and Swifts to reach their goals in and out of the sporting arena and to follow their teams like never before.”
As part of the wider project, the Hordern Pavilion will also receive significant upgrades to protect and enhance its role as a premier live music and entertainment venue.
“This is a victory for Australia’s live entertainment scene,” Playbill Group Managing Director Michael Nebenzahl said
“As custodians of the Hordern for the past 18 years, we understand it’s an essential part of the social and cultural fabric of our community.
“We have a unique opportunity to protect the future of the Hordern and RHI and set the stage for an exciting new chapter — one that rejuvenates the RHI while retaining the Hordern’s rightful place as an internationally-acclaimed live music and entertainment space.”
The Royal Hall of Industries will become home to:
· Sydney Swans
· NSW Swifts
· QBE Sydney Swans Academy, youth girls’ and boys’ programs
· A future Sydney Swans AFLW team
· GO Foundation
· Clontarf Foundation
· Australian Red Cross Blood Service donation centre