Canberra athletics boosted by $7 million synthetic track at Woden Park
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Canberra athletics boosted by $7 million synthetic track at Woden Park

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kelsey-Lee Roberts is among those eager to use the new international standard athletics track at the $7 million Woden Park complex.

In a massive boost for both athletics and soccer in Canberra, the facility contains a synthetic athletics track that is compliant to International Association of Athletics Federation standards.

The $7m refurbishment of the Woden athletics track. Commonwealth Games medalist in the Javelin, Kelsey-Lee Roberts, centre, is joined by Woden Little Athletics club members from left Rori Pryor, 11, Adela Russell, 11 and Siena Russell, 10. and paralympian, Richard Nicholson, at the track.

The $7m refurbishment of the Woden athletics track. Commonwealth Games medalist in the Javelin, Kelsey-Lee Roberts, centre, is joined by Woden Little Athletics club members from left Rori Pryor, 11, Adela Russell, 11 and Siena Russell, 10. and paralympian, Richard Nicholson, at the track.Credit:Graham Tidy

It will become the new headquarters for ACT Little Athletics and gives Athletics ACT the ability to bid for major national events, such as schools championships.

The upgrade also includes new jumping pits and throwing cages for field events, photo-finish capabilities for track events and floodlighting for the entire complex.

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The $7m refurbishment of the Woden athletics track.

The $7m refurbishment of the Woden athletics track. Credit:Graham Tidy

The soccer field has been re-laid and will be used to host Capital Football men's and women's premier league matches involving the Woden-Weston Creek Molonglo Football Club.

Roberts said it was great to have another quality venue in Canberra, the AIS having been the only option up until now.

"It's a great opportunity to build participation in athletics in the ACT," Roberts said.

"The track in Bruce is obviously based northside, and obviously having this in the southside we can get more involvement from the southside communities.

The $7m refurbishment of the Woden athletics track.

The $7m refurbishment of the Woden athletics track. Credit:Graham Tidy

"It's great having the AIS and a wonderful facility, but having the opportunity to change up the environment and train on a different surface and having different visual cues, it's good for my development in terms of being able to adapt to different training facilities."

Roberts is coming off a breakout season where she won the bronze medal in the women's javelin at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

She is aiming to start the domestic season strongly in the return of the Canberra Track Classic at the AIS on February 7.

"That's going to be very good for Canberra," Roberts said.

"It's great to have one in Canberra after so many years of it not being around.

"I'm so excited they've got women's javelin on the program, having a home-ground advantage will be fantastic."

ACT Sports Minister Shane Rattenbury said the redeveloped Woden Park facility was a boost to the ACT athletics and soccer communities.

"With the AIS having a dual purpose with national and international type events going on, it means we're not as constrained by the needs of the AIS," Rattenbury said.

"It fulfils the needs of two sports, athletics and soccer.

"This provides football with a new top-end facility on the southside as well. Football is going really well, so they need extra facilities."

Capital Football chief executive Heather Reid said she would be working closely with ACT Athletics in sharing the venue.

"The important thing is we have a brand new pitch," Reid said.

"We'll be trying to run some more summer football when it's not being run by athletics, but more importantly it brings back the national premier league venue for the new amalgamated Woden Weston FC.

"It also gives us the option of having premier league games at night."