20 years ago - when the world came to Blacktown!

Published on 17 September 2020

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In September 2000 the world came to Blacktown.

Blacktown International Sportspark was then known as Blacktown Olympic Park and it proudly welcomed some of the world’s best athletes to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Competitors from baseball, softball and athletics arrived in Blacktown for 17 days of world-class training and competition at the ‘best Olympic Games ever’.

Blacktown Aquatic Centre became an official Olympic training venue for a number of swimming teams.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said, “Blacktown was put on the world map when the Olympics came to our City and the world was given a new appreciation of Australia and its people.

“What a wonderful milestone to be celebrating 20 years on. The legacy of the 2000 Olympics to Blacktown has been massive, and I am very proud of how well Council and the staff at the Sportspark made the venue work so well at the time and how it continues to develop.

“In these challenging days it is heart-warming to know our City continues to come together and to support each other just as we did around those Olympic Rings, 2 decades ago. We are a sporting city and we always will be,” said Mayor Bleasdale.

Two people from Blacktown City Council remembered those days vividly are Matt Cairns, Grounds and Operations Coordinator at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney and Peter Filmer OAM, Council’s Events Manager.

Back in 2000, Matt was part of the team that prepared the grounds and playing fields. “Each and every day, the playing fields had to be of the highest standard so that these athletes, who had prepared for many years for just this moment, could perform at their absolute best,” recalled Matt.

“They were long and intense days but the thrill of being part of it all was simply indescribable.”

Peter recalled months and months of work by Council’s Events Team for the Olympic Torch relay’s run through Blacktown City.

“We worked with SOCOG to deliver the local content for the torch relay. I had a primary coordination role with police for the road content, liaison with local sporting clubs for venues and very proudly I recommended that we hire a helicopter and video crew and get images from the sky as the relay came through Blacktown.

“One of my greatest memories of the Games was watching Australia beat New Zealand in the women’s softball match at Blacktown Olympic Park with a massive out of the ground hit in the 10th inning for a 3-2 Aussie win,” said Peter.

If you have an Olympic memory of Blacktown that you would like to share please post it to social media and don’t forget to #BlacktownOlympicPark2000 or #BlacktownInternationalSportspark

 

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