News release

International Canoe/Kayak Training Facilities Coming to Nova Scotia

HEALTH PROMOTION--International Canoe/Kayak Training Facilities Coming to Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia is taking a place on the world stage of canoeing and kayaking. High-performance athletes from Nova Scotia and around the world will be using new training facilities to be added to existing buildings on Lake Banook in Dartmouth and Lake Thomas in Waverley.

Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald announced today, March 23, that the province will contribute $300,000 to the $1.3- million facilities.

"These facilities will provide our athletes with world-class training, but that's not all," said Mr. MacDonald. "The benefits of this project will extend far beyond the canoe/kayak community

- the centre will create economic benefit and a legacy for years to come."

This centre will be the only one in Canada of its kind and will feature a state of the art dry-land training facility, indoor paddle tank for technique training during the winter, sport medicine/science clinic and short-term accommodations for visiting athletes.

"The training centre will provide state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that will allow our athletes to begin on a level playing field with the best athletes in the world," said Steve Giles, former paddler and Olympic medalist. "Our already strong work ethic and excellent coaching will combine with this fact to give us an edge over the competition and put Nova Scotia athletes on the top of the podium."

While these facilities will attract Canadian national team and international athletes to the region to train and compete, the main beneficiaries will be people in the local paddling community.

The facility is expected to be in use by the 2006 season and will play an important role when Lake Banook hosts the 2009 World Canoe Championships.

The Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic has been working with the Atlantic Division of the Canadian Canoe Association, members of the Nova Scotia canoeing community, national team athletes and coaches during the planning stages of the International Canoe/Kayak Training Centre. The facilities will be built as extensions to the existing Atlantic Division Annex building on Lake Banook and the Cheema Aquatic Club on Lake Thomas.

Canoe/kayak has been one of the most consistent sports at the world championship and Olympic levels for Canada over the past 10 years. Canoeing is Nova Scotia's top sport: there were five Nova Scotian paddies on the 2004 Olympic team; canoeing brought home the most Canadian medals from the 2004 Olympics; and the majority of the National Canoe Team members train in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia is considered the ideal place for the development of canoe/kayak athletes in Canada.

"For Canadian athletes, this centre means they can train in world-class facilities at home and Nova Scotia will continue to build upon its international recognition for excellence in the sport," said Ken Bagnell, president of Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, co-ordinator for development of the training facilities. "This centre will be the landmark for high performance sports in Atlantic Canada."

To date, the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Nova Scotia's Office of Health Promotion and Halifax Regional Municipality have expressed their support for the development and operation of the facility.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia is taking a place on the world stage of canoeing and kayaking. High-performance athletes from Nova Scotia and around the world will be using new training facilities in Dartmouth and Waverley.

Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald announced today (March 23rd) that the province will contribute 300- thousand dollars to the one-point-three million dollar facilities.

New facilities will include a state of the art dry-land training facility, indoor paddle tank for technique training during the winter, a sport medicine/science clinic and short term accommodations for visiting athletes.

Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Office of Health Promotion and Halifax Regional Municipality have expressed their support for the development and operation of the facility.

The facility will play an important role when Lake Banook hosts the 2009 World Canoe Championships. It's expected to be in use by the 2006 season.

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Contact:

Caitlin Rochon
Health Promotion 902-424-6527 E-mail: