A new community sporting facility in Sydney's southeast will be officially opened at a community celebration on Saturday 1 July 2023 by the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, NSW Premier Chris Minns, Rabbitohs Captain Cameron Murray and Randwick Mayor Dylan Parker.
The $58M Heffron Centre located in Maroubra's Heffron Park includes an indoor community sports centre, gymnastics and dance centre as well as the new home for the South Sydney Rabbitohs including a Centre of Excellence, a new home for Souths Cares including multipurpose community facilities, training field and administration centre.
More than 10 years in the planning, the Heffron Centre realises a dream to co-locate Rabbitohs operations, including Souths Cares in their supporter heartland of Sydney's southeast.
The Heffron Centre is funded by the Australian Government, NSW Government, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Randwick City Council. It is owned and operated by Randwick Council with the Centre of Excellence leased to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the free community celebration from 11am to 3pm which will include live music featuring Kobie Dee, food trucks, football clinics and sports activities, a wheelchair rugby league exhibition match and Australia V Solomon Islands futsal game.
A smoking ceremony will be held at 11am and official proceedings including speeches, ribbon cutting and plaque unveiling from 12 midday.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:
"This Centre of Excellence will provide a base for the Men's and Women's teams to deliver the next chapter in South Sydney's proud history."
"Just as important will be its contribution to the community programs that are so important to the inclusive culture that Souths have developed.”
NSW Premier Chris Minns said:
"The South Sydney Rabbitohs have rich history, winning the most premierships in the competition’s history thanks to names like Piggins, Sattler and Churchill, and are referred to as the Pride of the League."
"While the Rabbitohs are having a great season and sit atop the NRL ladder, this new state-of-the-art high-performance Centre of Excellence will ensure the club's reputation for producing talented players in southern Sydney continues. This facility will assist the Club's growing premiership tally in years to come."
"The NSW Government is committed to breaking down barriers in women's sport and, importantly, the Rabbitohs Centre of Excellence will support female pathways and player development for the club’s future National Rugby League Women’s team."
NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said:
"The NSW Government is proud to support the construction of the Heffron Centre.
"Together with the Rabbitohs Centre of Excellence, this facility will provide a world-class high-performance training and community centre that will foster the development of rugby league talent and benefit people of all ages and abilities in southern Sydney."
Rabbitohs Captain Cameron Murray said:
"We're really excited to join with our Members, supporters and the local community to officially open the USANA Rabbitohs Centre and the Heffron Centre this Saturday at the Community Celebration," Rabbitohs captain Cameron Murray said.
"The facility we now have for training, Souths Cares and our administration functions is truly first class, and we're all keen to meet our Members, supporters and community members on Saturday to thank them for their support of the Rabbitohs and to show them the fantastic new facility they can share with us at Heffron Park.
"On behalf of the Rabbitohs we would like to thank the Federal Government, NSW Government and Randwick City Council for helping deliver this amazing facility for the local community, Souths Cares and the Rabbitohs."
Randwick Mayor Dylan Parker said:
"Bringing the Rabbitohs to Maroubra has been the culmination of 10 years hard work and our community could not be happier.
"Working in partnership, we have delivered an exceptional centre for elite sport and a new home for the Rabbitohs and Souths Cares.
"Importantly, the Heffron Centre is also a true community sporting facility where elite sports stars will rub shoulders with aspiring athletes and families using the community sports centre and gymnastics centre.
"This provides opportunities for further partnerships and collaboration, role models positive behaviour and enhances the sporting reputation of Randwick City."