Gym closure opens door to the future of High Performance Centre

Published on 03 June 2024


The future of the Mid North Coast High Performance Centre remains bright according to the organisations behind the facility designed to revolutionise sport in South West Rocks.

The South West Rocks Country Club closed the doors on the Rocks Lifestyle & Fitness 24-hour gym located in the Centre on Friday 24 May. The gym was only one part of the ongoing effort to deliver on the Centre’s promise to increase sports participation.

A joint project of the South West Rocks Sports and Recreation Association, the Country Club and Kempsey Shire Council, construction of the $5 million High Performance Centre began in April 2021, with a grand opening in February 2023.

The Centre was designed to benefit local sports clubs and enthusiasts alike, providing an impressive array of amenities to elevate training and performance to new heights and those behind the project are keen to reassure the community that while the centre may not have seen as much use as some people would like, it will meet its vision in the coming years.

Paul Sullivan, Acting CEO South West Rocks Country Club said there is a bright future for the Centre and the decision to close the gym has been a lengthy process that has involved many stakeholders.

“It is disappointing to close the gym, but unfortunately we have determined that the specifics of the facility, the business model and the needs of the community have not come together in this instance.” said Mr Sullivan.

“The High Performance Centre remains a home to the South West Rocks sports community and we will be working closely with the sports association and Council to deliver on this facility’s vast potential.”

Kempsey Shire Mayor Leo Hauville said community enthusiasm for the centre should continue despite the understandable disappointment over the gym closure.

“The opening of our unique High Performance Centre was the first, and most visual, step on a long journey to overcome local and regional barriers to participation in sport such as cost, time and travel,” said Cr Hauville.

“Together with the South West Rocks Sports Association and Country Club, Council have delivered a high quality grandstand that also contains the foundations for local sporting excellence. There is no blueprint for instant success. We need to be realistic and patient as building a pathway for increased participation and sporting events is going to take time.”

Stephen Mitchell, Kempsey Shire Council’s Director Corporate and Commercial, expressed his confidence in the facility and management team to deliver on the objectives for the Centre.

“The Country Club have taken on management of the High Performance Centre, which has both a high profile and high ambitions,” said Mr Mitchell.

“The Club and the sports association are vital parts of this South West Rocks community and we are keen to support them as they develop a plan to activate the venue in the short and long term.”

Funding for the Mid North Coast High Performance Centre was secured by Kempsey Shire Council and the South West Rocks Sport and Recreation Committee, receiving $2,465,268 from the 2018 Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund, $400,000 from South West Rocks Country Club, $1.1 million from Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, and a further $1,190,000 contributed by Kempsey Shire Council.

The centre includes a fully accessible grandstand with 660 seats, four fully accessible change facilities, two canteens, and a high-performance level and flooring for athlete testing.

It also features public toilets, a first aid room, scoring and timing area, bar facilities, umpires change facilities, administration space, PA systems, state-of-the-art security and access controls, and a lift. You can read about the history of the project at

The Country Club is working to make the gym closure process as easy and seamless for existing gym members. If you have any queries relating to reimbursements of in advance fees, please contact us at