The 2009 Canada Games are just a few short weeks away and a modern, multi-functional athletics facility that will greet competitors from across the nation was officially opened. Thanks to investments made by the federal, provincial and municipal governments as well as the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), the benefits of the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place will be enjoyed this summer and well into the future.
The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, were joined by Clifford Lee, Mayor of Charlottetown, Joseph Spriet, President of the 2009 Canada Games Host Society, and Wade MacLauchlan, President of UPEI, to get a first-hand look at one of the Games' premier attractions, which is adjacent to the CARI complex on the university's campus.
“Hosting the Canada Games will benefit Prince Edward Island in many important ways including the national exposure it provides to our Island economy and the legacy of top flight recreational facilities that will serve our communities for years to come,” said Minister Shea, on behalf of the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency). “In addition, these facilities enhance our ability to attract and host other sport initiatives and the economic benefits that flow from those events.”
UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place, the venue for track and field competitions for the 2009 Games as well as the closing ceremonies, features a synthetic, 400-metre, eight-lane oval track; a water jump for steeplechase; a facility for long and triple jump, pole vault, discus and hammer throw, javelin throw and shot put; a warm-up track, storage, washrooms, and spectator seating and viewing. The facility is situated on land provided by UPEI, and, through its name, it recognizes the university's alumni for their significant financial support of this athletics venue.
"The Canada Games has a long history of infrastructure legacy across the nation. This year the Province of Prince Edward Island was proud to contribute over $4 million for this 2009 Legacy Facility, the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place," said Minister Bertram. "This new facility will contribute to the success of the Games and will carry on a tradition of making sports and recreation an important part of our one Island community."
"The City of Charlottetown is pleased to partner with the federal and provincial governments and the University of Prince Edward Island in developing this athletics facility,” said Mayor Lee. “This complex will leave a lasting legacy in our community, and finally our athletes whose sport is track and field will now have a first class location to develop their skills."
The organization of the Canada Games is made possible through the dedication of the local Host Society, and the contribution and support of the federal, provincial and host municipal governments, and the Canada Games Council.
"The 2009 Canada Games Host Society is proud to unveil this state-of-the-art athletics facility to the rest of the country next month," said Mr. Spriet. "The opening of the UPEI Alumni Canada Place makes PEI a major player in the national athletics community and will continue to stand as an athletic pillar of excellence for our Island community long after the closing ceremony."
“UPEI is proud to host the Canada Games at this fine athletics facility on its campus,” says UPEI President Wade MacLauchlan. “The UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place is a tremendous asset to sport and recreation for the entire Island community, with the potential to attract top athletics events from outside PEI. We are honoured to partner with government and our community to provide this high-profile platform for provincial and regional athletic competition and success.”