Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA), in partnership with the City of Gold Coast, has announced its relocation to the Bond University campus next month in what will herald an exciting new phase for the sport in Australia.
The move is set to offer fantastic opportunity and endless possibility to grow the sport of mountain biking in the region, particularly in the lead up to the 2017 MTBA National Championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will both be held on the Gold Coast.
MTBA President Russ Baker welcomed the move, highlighting the region’s historical ties with the sport and the fantastic opportunities that lay ahead.
“While MTBA has a history of events in the Gold Coast hinterland and recent international events in Queensland, this move offers MTBA a home and the opportunity to partner with the Gold Coast community and Bond University," said Mr Baker.
“It will be the complete package, with administration sitting alongside training, development camps, trails and sports science.
“I expect this national focus for mountain biking to deliver improvements across all levels of our sport, strengthening MTBA’s identity for us all.”
The location itself is ideal for MTBA, who will be hoping to become a major part of the community. Located on the campus, the three-year partnership with Bond University is set to provide internship and research opportunities, whilst helping to develop their elite and national team riders via sports and social science programs.
Bond University's Executive Director of Sport, Mr Garry Nucifora, said the partnership would bring significant benefits to MTBA, Bond University and the wider Gold Coast City.
"We are very pleased to have partnered with MTBA, one of the significant growth sports in Australia," said Mr Nucifora.
"The collaboration between Bond University and MTBA is an excellent fit as MTBA's development trajectory closely aligns with Bond's own burgeoning sport story.
"The mountain biking partnership will provide outstanding research and testing opportunities for Bond students along with internship potential of great value to the university, while MTBA will have full access to Bond's elite sporting facilities, such as the High Performance Training Centre, and its associated resources."
As part of the relocation, MTBA will also receive a grant from the City of Gold Coast, which will help to support future infrastructure initiatives and drive MTB development throughout the region in the form of new facilities, trails and workshops.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the move was a win for the city.
“This is a direct result of our Sport Plan which aims to make the Gold Coast the adventure sports capital of Australia,” he said.
“It means we’ll see growth in all aspects of mountain biking which will benefit our city from an economic, social and reputation perspective.”
MTBA CEO Shane Coppin said the relocation was set to benefit the sport in countless ways, ensuring strong foundations that will ultimately see the sport flourish into the future.
“This relocation provides a significant opportunity for the future evolution and development of MTBA and mountain biking in Australia. Having access to sports science and social research, training facilities and testing for our growing pool of developing and elite riders is a major step towards establishing a professional training environment for MTB,” said Mr Coppin.
“Linkages to university students, a very supportive and proactive city further opens up opportunities for our sport especially in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“MTBA can now further promote this great sport from our new mountain bike headquarters, which will strengthen our brand and identity.
“This is a tremendous opportunity and I am very passionate and excited by what this means for shaping mountain biking in the future. Thank you to both the City of Gold Coast and Bond University for their passion and support in enabling this opportunity.”