Monday, February 14, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

The Canada Games Loves Venue Legacies!
by Michele Walker, SIRC

One of lasting legacies of hosting a Canada Games is the venue legacy left behind for the local and area residents.

The $45-million Canada Games Centre in Halifax, an aquatic and recreation facility, which is hosting badminton, gymnastics (artistic) and synchronized swimming, is another one of the showcase venues of the Games. In the future, it will be the all-important venue for athletes to train in the Maritimes, and a new place for area residents to engage in recreational activities. The facility has more than 185,000 square feet of recreation space, including an 8-lane pool, a leisure pool (with slides), a 200m indoor running track and 4 full-sized gymnasium courts.

The Canada Games Oval in Halifax, the 400m outdoor long-track speed skating track, is one of the marquee venues, and has already been used recreationally for close to 65,000 Halifax residents during public skates prior to the Games. As a testament to its quality and fast ice, at least 10 speed skaters broke Canada Games records right out of the gate as competition began this past Saturday. More records fell Sunday, with new marks being set - in the 1st round of the Men’s 500m and the Women’s 1000m, the top five skaters in each, broke the existing Canada Games records. Despite the fact the Oval at Halifax Common was initially constructed as a temporary facility, its popularity with the public has put a hold on the original plans to dissemble it after the Games. How great would it be if it could be kept as a permanent recreational facility and a permanent legacy for Halifax!?

And 7000 km from Halifax, to the far north-west corner of Canada, the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse built for the 2007 Games in the Yukon, is not only a much-needed first rate competition and recreational facility, it has become a local meeting place. The facility was front and centre on CBC TV Sports' Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada this past Saturday.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

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