The Canberra Raiders have officially opened the Huawei Raiders Centre in Braddon today, which signifies a new era for the club as they move into the new state-of-the-art facility.
ACT Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro had the honours of cutting the ribbon this morning, which shows the cross-border support from both governments to make the project a reality. ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr also attended the opening today and spoke on behalf of the ACT government.
Almost half of the projects budget was funded due to the wonderful support of both governments, with the ACT government contributing $5 million and the NSW government $4 million of the $19 million facility.
The Huawei Raiders centre is one of the largest and impressive high-performance facilities in Australian sport and is fitted out with several features, including a modern and expansive gym, hydrotherapy facilities, theatre, filming studio and modern facilities throughout.
Huawei not only features as the naming rights partner of the centre, they also feature throughout the facility, with Huawei technology at the forefront of infrastructure including the IT equipment and phone systems.
Today’s opening also coincided with the naming of the facilities Boardroom, which will be now known as the McIntrye Boardroom, to reflect the contribution of the McIntyre family, led by club founding father Les McIntyre and former Chairman and current Club Patron John McIntyre.
Raiders CEO Don Furner said the project was something that had taken a number of years of planning and preparation and something that could not have been achieved without the support of both the ACT and NSW governments.
“12 months ago, we stood out on the oval with the NSW Deputy Premier and ACT Deputy Chief Minister and we turned the first sod on this unique project. It’s unique because it brings us back to where we were 21 years ago.
“It’s in a brilliant setting, it’s an historically listed oval. Sport and Rugby League has been played here since 1925. It was also unique because of the unique partnerships between both governments. The governments no-border policy is played out here for all to see. It offers young kids in these areas the facilities that they would get in the bigger cities.”
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr congratulated the Raiders on the project coming to life and said it was a huge boost for the Raiders and region to have this new facility in Canberra.
“To Don, the Raiders board and Don’s team, congratulations on years and years of passion and commitment,” Mr Barr said “To see this project come to fruition is fantastic for Rugby League in this region. As part of the renewal of Canberra’s CBD this is a great initiative for the Raiders to come back to their spiritual home in Braddon.”
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said this was a wonderful achievement for the entire region and congratulated the Raiders on their continued commitment to the entire region in and around Canberra.
“We see the Raiders as more than the Canberra Raiders,” Mr Barilaro said. “A few weeks ago, the Raiders visited Bateman’s Bay and areas affected by the recent bushfires in the South Coast and gave hope to kids because they are a symbol of who we are as a region beyond the ACT, and that is important.”
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to be a part of this project. We’re passionate about what the Raiders mean to the region, but this is also about the kids across the South East.”