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Dolphins' plan for new $23m Centre of Excellence

Posted: 4pm 21 Apr 2022

Dolphins’ new NRL team will get $15 million towards a new Centre of Excellence in Redcliffe, if the Coalition wins next month’s Federal Election.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was on the peninsula today to unveil plans for the Dolphins Centre of Excellence - and the government's funding proposal.

The Centre of Excellence will have high performance training and recovery facilities, administration areas and spaces for the club’s tertiary partners and community organisations.

Mr Morrison said the centre would also support rugby league pathways for women and girls as well as the club’s ambition to join an expanded NRLW competition.

Work on the $23 million project could start at the end of the 2023 season and finish by the end of the 2024 campaign.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth at today's announcement.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison meets Dolphins junior players.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison alongside Dolphins' coach Wayne Bennett, with Luke Howarth and Dolphins officials
Dolphins juniors practise passing with the Federal Member Luke Howarth.

Training centre

“By securing a strong economy we can guarantee funding for essential community facilities like this new Centre of Excellence in Redcliffe, which will support the Dolphins as they enter the NRL but importantly it will provide better training amenities for young boys and girls,” the Prime Minister said.

“The Dolphins have been the beating heart of Redcliffe since 1947 and I look forward to the club inspiring the entire local community and the next generation of players, just as rugby league greats Arthur Beetson, Petero Civoniceva and Daly Cherry-Evans have done.”

The Dolphins are set to invest $2 million per year in participation and pathways across the men’s and women’s game as a condition of their entry to the NRL.

Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth said the Dolphins and sport more broadly played a critical role bringing the whole community together.

“Our commitment to partner with the Dolphins to make this Centre of Excellence a reality that will deliver benefits to communities across the region, providing them with access to world class facilities right here in Redcliffe,” Mr Howarth said.

Player pathways

Dolphins’ chairman Bob Jones said the club is “committed to the diversification of the game and supporting the expansion of the National Rugby League Women’s competition and the pathways into the sport for women and girls.

“In addition to the excitement of our first NRL team joining the competition next year, we have already established a pathway to the NRLW with the forming of our first Redcliffe Dolphins under-19s women’s team this season," he said.

“This facility will also provide new educational opportunities for those pursuing careers in the health and professional sporting sectors.

Hub of community

“We thank the government for their commitment to improving the facilities of the Dolphins’ precinct to provide unprecedented opportunities and a true hub for the community.”

Strong community connection is a key feature of plans for the Centre of Excellence, including to support the 20,000 participants and 71 affiliated junior clubs in the Dolphins’ catchment.

The Dolphins will enter the NRL Premiership from 2023 as the competition’s 17th team and fourth from Queensland – the first expansion team since the Titans in 2007.

They will play most of their games at Suncorp Stadium, but the Centre of Excellence will ensure the heart of the club remains right here in Redcliffe.

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