NORTHERN athletes are set to benefit from a new discus and hammer-throwing cage and net at Launceston's St Leonards Athletic Centre.
The new throwing facility, officially opened by Sport Minister Michelle O'Byrne yesterday, cost about $100,000 and was jointly funded by the state government and the athletics fraternity. It allowed the existing 30-year-old cage, which no longer met Australian standards, to be replaced with state-of-the-art facilities for both polevault and throwing events.
The St Leonards centre and and its throwing cage is used by more than 12,000 athletes each year ranging from primary and high school students and Tasmanian Little Athletics, to Special Olympics, and youth and senior club athletes.
``What we have now is probably the best-equipped regional athletics facility in Australia,'' Athletics Tasmania president Brian Roe said.
``There are no other athletic tracks outside the capital cities that provide training and competition facilities and equipment at this level and as was demonstrated six weeks ago, Launceston is more than capable of hosting major national track and field events.''
To celebrate the opening of the new facility, a hammer-throw competition was held that was the culmination of Hammerfest 2013, a national coaching and competition program.