TODAY is a massive day for Tamworth and the region with the opening of Stage 1 of the Northern Inland Centre of Sporting Excellence.
Anyone who inspects the synthetic athletics track, the velodrome and the criterium tracks for cycling, cannot help but to be inspired by this awesome facility.
This is a fantastic example of three levels of government working together and it gives Tamworth a drawcard which will be the envy of regional Australia.
I've always said, 'build it and they will come'. This Centre of Sporting Excellence will bring people from all over the country and from across the world.
A $4.5 million contribution for Stage 1 from the NSW Government, $8.5 million from the Federal Government and $3 million from the Tamworth Regional Council enhances Tamworth's reputation as a premier regional destination for world class sporting events.
The NSW Government is contributing a further $7.2 million for Stage 2 of the Centre for a new hockey pitch and upgrading the existing two hockey pitch surfaces.
Also, construction is underway for roofing over existing warm-up arenas at the Equine and Livestock Centre that will provide better conditions for horses and riders and additional undercover event capacity.
The Equine Centre is proving a huge drawcard for the equine world and it continues to grow and prosper for all types of horse sports including rodeo, cutting, reining, show jumping, eventing, dressage and camp drafting.
Extensions to the Sports Dome will be a big boost for netballers and basketball players, indoor hockey and futsal.
This is just a portion of the development of sporting facilities happening in Tamworth.
Earlier this year, the opening of a $1.7 million skating facility at Viaduct Park gave Tamworth the ability to draw skaters from all over the country to take on the challenge it offers.
Tamworth Regional Playground was opened in late 2015 - a project that was successful in securing $1.1m in State Government funding which was matched by Tamworth Regional Council.
Recently, the Riverside sporting fields saw the last of 16 huge light poles installed.
The project was funded using a $644,231 NSW Government Strong Community Fund grant plus $50,000 from Tamworth AFL and $15,000 from Tamworth Oztag.
There are also new light towers for the North Companions' Marius Street soccer fields to light playing Field 2.
Last year, I announced $1.245 million for shared pathways along Goonoo Goonoo Road, establishing a link to the Northern Inland Centre of Sporting Excellence and for a path to the Mountain Bike Park.
In August, a three-year plan to wheel out $3.284 million in cycle path funding was revealed, creating safe routes for people to walk or cycle to the multiple sporting facilities around Tamworth and reduce the reliance on cars.
Now all we need to do is to pray for rain to provide some welcome green for our visitors and locals.
Kevin Anderson is the state Member for Tamworth and the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation.