New athletic facility officially named
UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place
The new athletic complex constructed on UPEI campus for the 2009 Canada Games was officially named the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place during a ceremony at UPEI Friday night.
Wayne Carew, vice-president of the 2009 Canada Games, made the announcement from centre ice minutes before the UPEI Panthers men’s hockey game got underway at the MacLauchlan Arena at 7 p.m.
Carew along with Joe Spriet, president of the 2009 Canada Games host committee, H. Wade MacLauchlan, president and vice-chancellor of UPEI, and Phil MacDougall, past-president of the Alumni Association, took part in the ceremonial puck drop at centre ice.
The new $6.8-million state-of-the-art complex, which features a 400-metre track and seating for more than 1,200 spectators, will host about 50 track and field events during the second week of the Games, which run from Aug. 15-29 in various locations on the Island. The facility will also host the closing ceremonies for the Games.
The naming rights were secured after the Alumni Association was able to raise enough funds with the help of 50 alumni who have pledged $1,000 a year for the next five years.
Carew said he is happy with the partnership between the UPEI Alumni Association and the Canada Games.
“As both a UPEI alumnus and a member of the 2009 Canada Games Host Society, it means a great deal to see my alma mater joining in partnership with the Games through the naming of this wonderful facility.”
Spriet said the 2009 Canada Games is proud to be partners with UPEI and he is looking forward to working with the university as the Games approach.
“UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place will provide a lasting legacy to future Island athletes.”
As part of the appeal, a 2008 Trius Tours bus was branded for Panther athletics teams to travel off-Island. The exterior is covered in high-impact colour images of Panther athletes in action and the inside has wireless Internet access to allow student athletes to work on their studies while travelling.
MacDougall said the appeal to raise funds from the Alumni Association has drawn a lot of interest and those alumni participating span over 61 years from 1948–2009.
“We look forward to having more alumni participate to help achieve our goal for the future benefit of our student athletes and the whole university community.”
The new facility name will mark the first time the Alumni Association name will be used on campus since the Prince Edward Island Alumni Gym was destroyed by fire on Aug. 1, 2001.