The Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) is putting its support behind the new community health and sport centre under construction at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park.
The new centre, which is being built by the Hawke's Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust, will be called the EIT Institute of Sport and Health.
Chair of the trust, Sir Graeme Avery, who was one of the driving forces behind AUT Millennium Institute of Sport and Health in Auckland, said the trust was delighted to secure EIT as the naming sponsor.
"This is a significant milestone on the road to Hawke's Bay having its own world-class Centre of Excellence in health and sport," Avery said.
"EIT coming on board creates a number of exciting opportunities for all concerned and will help us towards achieving our overall goal of giving our community the opportunities to be the best they can be in sport, health and wellbeing.
"The institute will have programmes promoting healthy lifestyles, special programmes for at-risk youth and community health and wellbeing programmes, as well as the development of talented local sportspeople."
He said the institute's work would not be limited to the facility itself, but that staff would team up with recreation centres in Waipukurau and Wairoa to deliver satellite services.
EIT's deputy chief executive Mark Oldershaw said the EIT was proud to have its name featured as the key sponsor.
"From EIT's perspective, we have all recognised that this is a landmark project and probably one of those opportunities that comes about once a generation in terms of getting involved in a significant regional project. This initiative is one that genuinely is going to change the lives of people in Hawke's Bay," Oldershaw said.
"We will certainly use the institute to deliver a range of programmes, including degree provision from vocational certificates through to applied degrees and postgraduate qualifications to ensure that the ongoing needs of the region are being met. It is exciting to have both teaching space and a research lab on site, which we can use along with our programmes based in the community."
He said there were also opportunities to get involved in research.
"It is going to be a really good opportunity for our School of Health and Sports Science to take that next leap. Who knows where it could lead."
Construction on the $25 million institute began earlier this year with completion of the first phase of Stage One, the centre itself, expected in April next year, for opening by mid-2019. The centre is being constructed by local company MCL Construction.
Construction will begin on an accommodation hostel in September and this is expected to also be ready by April next year. The third phase of Stage One is expected to begin later next year and will be an extension of the building.
Stage Two, which is still a few years off, will see the building of an Aquatic Centre with a 50m Olympic pool and a learn-to-swim pool.