UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place officially opened today, located on the UPEI campus adjacent the CARI complex. It features a 400-metre, eight lane, oval synthetic track, a water jump for steeplechase, a facility or long and triple jump, pole vault, discus and hammer throw, javelin throw, shot put, a warm-up track, storage facilities, washrooms and spectator seating.
The 2009 Canada Games are just a few short weeks away and the modern, multi-functional athletics facility that will greet competitors from across the nation was officially opened today.
Gail Shea, minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Carolyn Bertram, minister of communities, cultural affairs and labour, were joined at UPEI today by Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee, 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 Shea. “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.
Mayor Lee said the City of Charlottetown is pleased to partner with the federal and provincial governments and the University of Prince Edward Island in developing the athletics facility.
“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.
Spriet said the 2009 Canada Games Host Society will be proud to unveil the state-of-the-art athletics facility to the rest of the country next month.
"The opening of the UPEI Alumni Canada Place makes P.E.I. 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 president Wade MacLauchlan said 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 P.E.I.
“We are honoured to partner with government and our community to provide this high-profile platform for provincial and regional athletic competition and success.”
UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place was funded through the Canada-P.E.I. Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF) with contributions from the Government of Canada, the Province of Prince Edward Island and the City of Charlottetown. The University of Prince Edward Island is responsible for maintaining and operating the facility once the Canada Games are over.