HEALTH PROMOTION–International Canoe/Kayak Training FacilitiesComing to Nova Scotia Nova Scotia is taking a place on the world stage of canoeing andkayaking. High-performance athletes from Nova Scotia and aroundthe world will be using new training facilities to be added toexisting buildings on Lake Banook in Dartmouth and Lake Thomas inWaverley. Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald announced today, March23, that the province will contribute $300,000 to the $1.3-million facilities. “These facilities will provide our athletes with world-classtraining, but that’s not all,” said Mr. MacDonald. “The benefitsof this project will extend far beyond the canoe/kayak community – the centre will create economic benefit and a legacy for yearsto come.” This centre will be the only one in Canada of its kind and willfeature a state of the art dry-land training facility, indoorpaddle tank for technique training during the winter, sportmedicine/science clinic and short-term accommodations forvisiting athletes. “The training centre will provide state-of-the-art facilities andequipment that will allow our athletes to begin on a levelplaying field with the best athletes in the world,” said SteveGiles, former paddler and Olympic medalist. “Our already strongwork ethic and excellent coaching will combine with this fact togive us an edge over the competition and put Nova Scotia athleteson the top of the podium.” While these facilities will attract Canadian national team andinternational athletes to the region to train and compete, themain beneficiaries will be people in the local paddlingcommunity. The facility is expected to be in use by the 2006 season and willplay an important role when Lake Banook hosts the 2009 WorldCanoe Championships. The Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic has been working with theAtlantic Division of the Canadian Canoe Association, members ofthe Nova Scotia canoeing community, national team athletes andcoaches during the planning stages of the InternationalCanoe/Kayak Training Centre. The facilities will be built asextensions to the existing Atlantic Division Annex building onLake Banook and the Cheema Aquatic Club on Lake Thomas. Canoe/kayak has been one of the most consistent sports at theworld championship and Olympic levels for Canada over the past 10years. Canoeing is Nova Scotia’s top sport: there were five NovaScotian paddies on the 2004 Olympic team; canoeing brought homethe most Canadian medals from the 2004 Olympics; and the majorityof the National Canoe Team members train in Nova Scotia. NovaScotia is considered the ideal place for the development ofcanoe/kayak athletes in Canada. “For Canadian athletes, this centre means they can train inworld-class facilities at home and Nova Scotia will continue tobuild upon its international recognition for excellence in thesport,” said Ken Bagnell, president of Canadian Sport CentreAtlantic, co-ordinator for development of the trainingfacilities. “This centre will be the landmark for highperformance sports in Atlantic Canada.” To date, the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, the Canadian OlympicCommittee, Nova Scotia’s Office of Health Promotion and HalifaxRegional Municipality have expressed their support for thedevelopment and operation of the facility.