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Dragons unveil plans for Community and High Performance Centre

The St George Illawarra Dragons have unveiled its plans to build a state-of-the-art Community and High Performance Centre (CHPC) at the University of Wollongong's Innovation Campus.

This follows confirmation of the Dragons securing additional funding from the New South Wales government ahead of the upcoming 2022-23 budget announcement.

The proposed $50 million project includes multi-purpose spaces for community, university and Dragons' stakeholders use, including two full-sized training fields, amenities for the club's NRL and NRLW endeavours, a community classroom, research and education spaces, lecture theatre, a cutting-edge gym, media studio and aquatic recovery facilities.

The CHPC will provide exciting new opportunities to further the club's collaborative community partnership activities that stretch from the St George region to the Illawarra, South Coast and beyond, building on the 20 different programs and over 114,000 participants currently engaged with St George Illawarra each year.

St George Illawarra and UOW have a long association and have spent recent months collaborating on the delivery of a world class facility focused on both elite performance and community participation, research and educational opportunities.

The CHPC and surrounding grounds have been designed to help create a better future for St George Illawarra, the University of Wollongong and the club's community by delivering activated, integrated and gender equitable facilities. Architect design firm Populous have been engaged to ensure the 'Connection to Country' principles are core to the facility's design.

"This is the boldest project the Dragons have ever undertaken, and our vision is to build a centre that delivers tremendous value for both our club and community," St George Illawarra chief executive Ryan Webb said.

"With the support of the club's shareholders, this project has progressed over the last year through the design and stakeholder engagement process. The next steps involve community engagement activities which will act as an important component to the project's development application (DA) which we hope to lodge shortly.

"We thank the State Government for seeing the value in what we are working to achieve for our sport and community in helping us make the CHPC a reality."

St George Illawarra chairman Craig Young reaffirmed the Dragons' commitment to the club's regions following the CHPC announcement.

"It will be tremendous to have a state-of-art training and community facility to complement our two traditional home grounds, ensuring we connect in the best possible way with our members, partners, fans and communities throughout our entire catchment," Young said.

"It's a truly exciting time for St George Illawarra and one that is well overdue. Many of our competitors already have a competitive advantage with such a facility already available to them.

"We greatly value our partnership with the University of Wollongong and we look forward to creating opportunities to drive collaboration and support further research and development."

UOW Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation, Enterprise and External Relations) Professor Alex Frino said the high performance community centre will provide exciting new opportunities to build collaborative partnership programs for UOW students and the Illawarra community.

"We are delighted to extend our partnership with St George Illawarra Dragons to help create a better future for the community and our students," Professor Frino said.

"We very much welcome the NSW Government's financial support for this project which is critical for the development of the Illawarra and the local communities.

"UOW students will get access to this best-in-class training facility that will enable knowledge sharing, improved education and better partnership outcomes.

"The commencement of this project will create job opportunities for the local community, creating a vibrant future for UOW students through work experience and internship opportunities."

Read more about the Dragons Community and High Performance Centre here

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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