The South Sydney Rabbitohs are looking forward to work commencing in early 2019 on the Rabbitohs Community and High Performance Centre (CHPC) at Heffron Park in Maroubra now that all funding has been secured for the $25 million project.
For the Rabbitohs and Souths Cares, who are aiming to be in the new state-of-the-art facility by the end of 2020, the CHPC will be a game changer for the football operations, administration, community and charity arms of the Club, as well as the South Sydney community.
South Sydney Rabbitohs General Manager Shane Richardson says the development of the CHPC is a fantastic new way forward for the Club, as we enter a new age in professional sport.
"From a football perspective, the Community and High Performance Centre will give us a facility which will see everyone under the one roof and will give us a modern operation from which our players can train and prepare, be they the established stars or the up-and-coming players of the next generation," Mr Richardson said.
"It will be a key factor for our recruitment and retention planning, and will be another way in which we can deliver The Rabbitoh Way, as well as making us the club of choice for footballers across the country and from overseas."
With the support of Randwick City Council, the NSW government, the Federal government and Souths Juniors, the CHPC will create seamless operations between the football and administration departments at the Rabbitohs with Souths Cares, and will provide long-term financial stability for the Club.
New revenue streams will be available to the Club through facility hire, fundraising and café operations, as well as cost savings and efficiencies such as the reduction of rental expenses currently incurred in the Redfern offices.
Souths Cares' will also be able to increase its social impact with over 15,000 participants in Souths Cares' programs each year from 2020.
Club CEO, Blake Solly, says the new facility is putting the Red and Green in safe hands and is building a platform like no other, which will help create consistent success across all levels of the business.
"The CHPC will give us financial stability as a club and will enable us to explore and implement new revenue streams whilst also cutting costs from our current budgets," said Mr Solly.
"We're in line to make a $1.3 million profit this year alone. That money is being re-invested in our Club with the pathways teams and the CHPC being the focus of the investment as it has been in the past, and we intend it to be so in the future.
"It will mean Souths Cares has new facilities which will benefit not only the community in South Sydney, but also visitors from around the state, the country and from overseas."
The CHPC will further enhance the Club's ability to identify, support and develop elite junior player pathways in conjunction with Souths Juniors and will be a major retention and recruitment tool, helping elite players to make the Rabbitohs their club of choice in the NRL.
Mr Richardson says this incredible new opportunity puts the Club in the best position to continually challenge at the very top in the NRL.
"To put it simply, it will help us deliver premiership success for our Members and our community while we develop the next generation of Rabbitohs from two centrally-located training facilities," said Mr Richardson.
"No other NRL operation will have two city-central locations to work from as we will with the Heffron Park facility and Redfern Oval. This is unprecedented in the NRL."
The CHPC will be the hub for everything connected to the South Sydney Rabbitohs; will reflect the storied history of the Foundation Club; and will be a facility of which the Club's Members, players, coaches and staff can be proud.
"The CHPC will reflect our history as the oldest Club in the NRL - over 110-years of history - and our Members will enjoy the way we recognise the past whilst producing the players that represent them in the future, all out of the one facility," said Mr Solly.
"Our 2019 Membership packages go on sale this week and we are aiming to break through the 30,000 Member mark again next year, for the fourth time in the last five years. Initiatives such as the pathways teams and the CHPC show why we are a club that our Members want to support year after year.
"It's exciting times and we're all looking forward to the work beginning in early 2019, with a view to be operating out of Heffron Park by the end of 2020."