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American Action Sports Chain Woodward Is Opening Its First Australian Centre in Sydney in 2024

The three-level, 3650-square-metre site in Castle Hill will feature skateboarding, BMX, snowboarding, skiing, rock climbing, bouldering and more.
By Sarah Ward
November 16, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
November 16, 2022
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Adrenaline junkies, meet your new action sports go-to: a massive three-level skateboarding, BMX, snowboarding, skiing, rock climbing and bouldering facility that'll also mark an Australian-first. Come late 2024, American chain Woodward is making its Aussie debut, and also opening its first-ever international site, with a 3650-square-metre venue in Castle Hill in Sydney.

If it gets your blood pumping, odds are that there'll be a space for it at Woodward Sydney, which'll set up shop adjacent as part of Castle Towers Shopping Centre. Think: climbing and bouldering walls, a skate park, mini ramps and a mega ramp, foam pits, a pump track, a spring floor, trampolines and a gym. And, whether you're a professional, an Olympian, aspiring to make action sports more than just a pastime or a complete beginner, the purpose-built centre promises to cater to all ages and abilities.

That includes hosting individual classes, programs that span for multiple weeks, competitions, birthday parties and events — and having casual-access passes for folks who just want to give it a go. Plus, for winding down after getting sweaty, there'll be an onsite cafe and bar.

"Sydney is the ideal city for our first expansion overseas given its history as a destination that embraces sports and commitment to the action sports lifestyle," said Woodward President Chris 'Gunny' Gunnarson, announcing the Castle Hill venue.

"Woodward Sydney will be our most innovative concept to date — and a model for future Urban Centres. Woodward has historically been known as the place to go if you are an aspirational professional athlete, and we want all Woodward locations to be focused on empowering athletes of all abilities and ages to safely progress on a clear path at their own pace using our unique blend of innovative environments, dynamic programming, and passionate staff. Woodward Sydney will epitomise that mission."

Also set to be a big focus: encouraging women to get more involved and feel more empowered in action sports, one of the brand's key missions.

Woodward started out in 1970 in central Pennsylvania, and now boasts eight venues across the US, including in California, Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Vermont.

The New South Wales Government is putting $1.8 million towards the company's first Australian action sports centre, via a grant from the Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund, with an aim to both increase opportunities for Sydneysiders to get active and support athletes.

"Investing in new and existing facilities to improve the quality and quantity of sports infrastructure across Greater Sydney was a priority for the NSW Government," said Minister for Sport Alister Henskens.

"The NSW Government recognises the critical role sports infrastructure plays in keeping communities healthy and active. Woodward Sydney will provide an indoor action sports facility which will improve participation and pathway opportunities for emerging and elite athletes."

Woodward Sydney will open at Castle Towers Shopping Centre, 22 Showground Road, Castle Hill, in late 2024. Keep an eye on the Woodward website for further details.

Published on November 16, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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