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New aquatic centre opens at Bond University

Bond University is building on its 30-year legacy of producing some of Australia’s best swimmers after unveiling a new state-of-the-art aquatic centre for the next generation of stars.

The centrepiece of the Bond University Aquatic Centre is a FINA-ratified 10-lane, 25m pool which was launched on Thursday, June 20 before guests including Australian swimming greats Grant Hackett, Jon Sieben, Andrew Baildon and Melanie Wright (nee Schlanger).

Swimming Australia head coach Jacco Verhaeren said the FINA certification meant world records could potentially be broken in the pool.

“FINA approval covers lane width, block height, the length of course -- everything you can imagine. It needs to be exactly right to make it an official pool,” Mr Verhaeren said.

“Although this will mostly be used for squad training you want to be able to host formal competitions as well.

“There is the chance that people race so fast that they break a world record and you can only do that in an official pool.

“So who knows? Maybe one day you might experience a world record here. That would be awesome.”

Mr Verhaeren said the aquatic centre -- which also features a 300-seat grandstand, 5m x 3m high-resolution video screen and a beach volleyball court -- cemented Bond University’s reputation as a hub for high performance sports.

“The pools, in combination with the strength and conditioning facilities, are really world class,” he said.

“The coaches can be more creative with their training and work a bit more on their (swimmers’) skills underwater -- their turns and starts.”

Bond University Director of Swimming Kyle Samuelson said the new pool is the only short course pool on the Gold Coast with touch pads and high-tech video scoreboard.

“The plan is to start with local meets, then build off the back of that,” Mr Samuelson said.

The aquatic centre has a hall of fame featuring the university’s finest swimmers including three-time Olympic gold medallist Grant Hackett and two-time gold medallist Melanie Wright.

It can accommodate bigger squads and also provides for Bond’s water polo and triathlon programs.

In the short term it will give Bond University’s elite swimming squad the best preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The current squad includes Commonwealth Games gold medallists Alex Graham, Elijah Winnington and Jenna Strauch.

“Facilities certainly play a big role in recruitment, this aquatic centre will rival any in the country not to mention the first class support we receive from the university,” Mr Samuelson said.

“It will be amazing to train in, but to be able to use the touch pads and the scoreboard for a competitive edge, that will separate us from the other short course pools around.

 “Our swimmers now have everything they need to perform and excel. It doesn’t mean it always happens, but we have that foundation there for them to help them achieve their best results.”

The opening of the aquatic centre featured a series of swimming races featuring Bond University swimmers and alumni.

Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford, said it was another legacy the university was leaving in the wake of its 30th anniversary.

“This further enhances Bond’s sporting facilities -- for both elite athletes and our students – to genuine world-class status, which is great news for the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia.

“It provides students with every option possible – recreational swimming, recording PBs in both a short and long distance pool, playing water polo, enjoying a spa or simply lazing in the sun on the pool deck.”

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