Funds bid for Rio Games training centre

BECOMING an acclimatisation centre for athletes headed to the 2016 Rio Olympics could be the crowd-pleasing element to a state government funding grab by Cairns sporting groups.
Leaders of several Cairns sports groups used yesterday's roundtable discussion to pitch the concept of a Tropical Institute of Sport aligned to James Cook University to Sport Minister Steve Dickson who threw in-principle support behind the project.

He said funding for any sport was unlikely to be available for up to two years, but had urged all groups who attended the meeting to get working on business plans.

"What I've seen up here today, we've talked about the environment and the heat and what we can utilise this area for, what a great training facility it would be for Rio in the future," Mr Dickson said.

"With a federal election looming, I've given some advice in that, let's play a bit of politics, let's try and get both sides to commit to spending a bit of money up here because they've got a much bigger pot than we have."

AFL Cairns president Gary Young was among those who attended the discussion to present the project to Mr Dickson and said it could potentially create a "monster of an industry" and was the perfect place to prepare for the Rio Games along with the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.


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