The new Northern Water Sports Centre (NWSC) is riding the crest of a wave, as it prepares to break ground before the end of 2012.
Located on the south shore of Lake Ramsey near Science North, the new fully accessible, year-round facilities will enable the Sudbury Canoe Club, the Sudbury Rowing Club, and the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival, in partnership with the City of Greater Sudbury, to expand capacity and programs providing paddling and rowing to all Sudburians.
“This is an exciting time, when vision and reality are coming together in the NWSC,” Thomas Merritt, NWSC board chair, said. “The partners have been working together for a long time to bring this project to the region. We’re thrilled that we will now be able to create a true community gateway to rowing and paddling on Lake Ramsey.”
In addition to providing a facility that will help improve community health and quality of life, the NWSC also creates capacity to expand partner programs that encourage accessibility, greater water safety, and the development of high performance athletes, a press release stated.
"All partners are particularly proud of expanding programs to engage our youth, including disadvantaged and individuals with disabilities, in water sports," the release stated. "These programs will enable healthy lifestyle choices that will last a lifetime."
"The NWSC really is about bringing people together — people of all ages and abilities — to learn, to teach and to strengthen our community,” Merritt said.
From a sports tourism perspective, the NWSC’s world class "Albano Racecourse System" — the same system used at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and other prominent racing venues around the world — will allow Sudbury to build on the clubs’ rich racing history, which includes the prestigious Canadian Canoe Nationals in 1936.
With its unparalleled viewing area from the James Gordon Boardwalk in Bell Park, this newly installed course will establish Sudbury as a “top three” site in the province and the only site in northern Ontario with the ability to compete for hosting major provincial, national and international on-water events, such as the 2012 FISA World Tour for rowing, the Ontario Sprint Championships and the Kayak Polo Nationals.
“This is just another way to bring the north to the world,” Gergely Lanci, commodore of the Sudbury Canoe Club, said. “And of course, bringing the world to Sudbury, since these major sports tourism events benefit the entire Sudbury region, competitively and economically.”
The estimated project cost for the centre is about $4.3 million, with more than $2.6 million committed and approvals pending on more than $1.2 million. Having already received endorsements from Xstrata Nickel Ltd. ($1 million), the City of Greater Sudbury ($500,000), and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation ($1 million), the project team is cautiously optimistic about support from the federal government and confident that the community will rally behind this exciting, legacy project for Sudbury and the North, the release stated.
Posted by Laurel Myers