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The FIFA World Cup referees have joined the list of national and international sporting groups to praise the facilities at the NSWRL’s Centre of Excellence (COE) at Sydney Olympic Park.

The referees trained daily at the COE during the month-long tournament, which proved hugely successful in Australia’s sporting landscape.

“They unequivocally stated that the NSWRL COE was the best training venue they had ever used,” said NSWRL Venue Operations Manager Ben Jessimer.

“Being able to do everything in one place was unreal for them.

“It is pleasing to see athletes and officials of all sports recognise the world-class nature of what we’ve set up here at NSWRL.”

Soccer is the latest to use the COE’s field, gymnasium, ice baths, wading pools, sports science-physio rooms, lecture theatre, meeting rooms and kitchen.

International cricket teams, English Premier League soccer teams, the Australian basketball, hockey and Wallabies Rugby Union squads have all booked in time at the centre, along with non-football sports such as volleyball and water polo.

Four FIFA Women's World Cup referees during their training at NSWRL's COE
Four FIFA Women's World Cup referees during their training at NSWRL's COE

Jessimer said that while the predominant use of the facility will always be for Rugby League teams, it is great that on occasions, NSWRL is able to make the facility available to other members of the sporting family.

The Westpac NSW Blues, Harvey Norman Sky Blues, U19s State of Origin and other NSW representative teams train there, as well as regular NRL clubs either based in Sydney or who are playing ‘away’ games at Accor Stadium across the road.

“When available, we are happy to open the venue to our colleagues in other sports. And I know a lot of sports don’t know the facilities we have here,” Jessimer said.

“When I walked NSW Athletics through – who are our neighbours here at Sydney Olympic Park - they were surprised with the extent of our facilities.

“They literally thought we just had a training field and some change rooms.

“They were impressed at how well-equipped our gym was, our recovery pools, and other features.

NSW Athletics have now booked the venue for a coaching seminar and also recovery for athletes competing at an upcoming state carnival.

If anyone is interested in using the facility, please call NSWRL: +61 2 8756 7000 for terms of booking and availability.


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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours 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 Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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