Elite athletes share new Waipa facility

14 February 2018 

Waipa's newest community facility will see elite athletes sharing a building with those involved in recreational water sports.

The brand new Canoe Racing New Zealand High Performance and Perry Community Water Sports Centre, Home of Cambridge Yacht Club will be officially opened later this month at Mighty River Domain, Lake Karāpiro. 

The purpose-built facility houses Canoe New Zealand's high performance training centre as well as the long-standing Cambridge Yacht Club.  The community space to be used by the yacht club is also available to other recreational water sports.

Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the new building was innovative and an outstanding new asset for Waipa.

"Of course we're thrilled to welcome Canoe New Zealand's elite athletes and high performance programme to Waipa but we're just as pleased to cater for community-based activities – that's what Waipa is about," Mylchreest said.

"Cambridge Yacht Club members gave up their dedicated building and lease they have held since the 1940s to create a better facility that will serve their club and the wider community really well.  With a brand new room, use of a new pontoon and better storage and access to the water, they've done well.  But they've also allowed Canoe New Zealand to move down from Auckland to join Waipa's high performance hub."

The new $2.3 million building has been jointly funded by Sport New Zealand, Canoe Racing New Zealand, Waipa District Council, the Brian Perry Charitable Trust, Frances Skeet Charitable Trust, Trillian Trust and Trust Waikato plus corporate supporters Deloitte and Fuji Xerox.  

The facility will be opened by Mayor Mylchreest and the Minister for Community and Voluntary Sector, the Hon. Peeni Henare on February 23. The opening will be held on the first day of the three-day New Zealand sprint kayak championships, the first major canoe competition to be held at Canoe New Zealand's new base.  The championships are set to attract 400-plus athletes, including athletes from Australia.  

The nation's top paddlers including world and Olympic champion Lisa Carrington, K2 world champion Caitlin Ryan and under-23 K1 world champion Aimee Fisher will all be defending national titles and will be part of official opening activities.

Canoe New Zealand chief executive Mark Weatherall said Lake Karā​piro was a "ideal place" for elite athletes to train all-year around, on "great water" and in a world-class environment, we only have to look at Rowing New Zealand have achieved being based there.

“We are really excited to be based in Waipa.  Canoe racing is in a positive space and it's really exciting as we look towards the Olympics in Tokyo," Weatherall said.

"This is another evolution of the sport and a lot of people have done a lot of work to get to this point. We are very appreciative of the support provided by the Waipa District Council and Sport NZ for what they have done, and to the other funders and supporters, including the Cambridge Yacht Club."

Media enquiries, contact Natalie Palmer 027 807 3174

Page reviewed: 14 Feb 2018 11:40am