September 21, 2019

Winnipeg
14° C, Light rain showers

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Centre of attention

New training facility 'perfect fit' for Manitoba athletes

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>The new Sport For Life building is expected to open Tuesday.</p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The new Sport For Life building is expected to open Tuesday.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/7/2017 (802 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg will only last for 17 days, but the legacy of the Games will last for years to come.

After two years of construction and more than a decade of planning, the Canada Games Sport for Life Centre opens the doors to the Qualico Training Centre today. The building is the official legacy building of the 2017 Canada Games.

Jeff Hnatiuk, who took a leave of absence as CEO of Sport Manitoba to become the president and CEO of the 2017 Canada Games, said the building wasn’t originally intended to be branded that way. The building was going to built anyway but when Winnipeg won the Games bid, it was decided it was a perfect fit.

“Every community that hosts the Canada Games has to identify a new facility as a branded Canada Games facility, so that’s why it’s the Canada Games Sport for Life Centre,” said Hnatiuk. “We were well under way in the planning to have the construction of (the training centre) but with the Games coming along and looking at the need for the Games to have a new branded facility, it just made sense.”

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/7/2017 (802 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg will only last for 17 days, but the legacy of the Games will last for years to come.

After two years of construction and more than a decade of planning, the Canada Games Sport for Life Centre opens the doors to the Qualico Training Centre today. The building is the official legacy building of the 2017 Canada Games.

Jeff Hnatiuk, who took a leave of absence as CEO of Sport Manitoba to become the president and CEO of the 2017 Canada Games, said the building wasn’t originally intended to be branded that way. The building was going to built anyway but when Winnipeg won the Games bid, it was decided it was a perfect fit.

"Every community that hosts the Canada Games has to identify a new facility as a branded Canada Games facility, so that’s why it’s the Canada Games Sport for Life Centre," said Hnatiuk. "We were well under way in the planning to have the construction of (the training centre) but with the Games coming along and looking at the need for the Games to have a new branded facility, it just made sense."

Today’s ceremony to officially open the building will start at 8:15 a.m. inside the Qualico Training Centre at 145 Pacific Ave. The ceremony will feature an opening prayer, greetings from dignitaries, videos, athletes and a ribbon cutting followed by guided tours of the building. Premier Brian Pallister, Mayor Brian Bowman and Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage Rochelle Squires will be in attendance.

The 124,000-square-foot facility will be where Manitoba’s provincial teams will train and it will also be an accessible gym for the public. The building features three full-size courts, a four-lane running track, weight training area for the public and high-performance athletes, aerobic training centre and multi-purpose areas for individual sports, fitness conditioning and workshops.

The centre will be used as a venue for volleyball and basketball during the Games, which run from July 28 to Aug. 13. All other events will be held at pre-existing venues except for beach volleyball, which will take place at the new Sargent Park Beach Volleyball Centre that was built for the event.

The planning of the Canada Games Sport for Life Centre started in 2005 when Sport Manitoba’s lease at 200 Main St. was nearing an end and Wawanesa Insurance was going to take over the property.

Hnatiuk said they easily could have found a different location for the more than 60 sport organizations under the Sport Manitoba umbrella but took it as an opportunity to do something that could have a significant impact on the local sports community.

"We thought if we could create a facility that combined sport administration with sport medicine, science, training, testing and heritage. It would be great for sport moving forward," said Hnatiuk.

In 2010, Sport Manitoba moved into the 100-year old building in the Exchange District, in phase 1 of the Sport for Life Centre. Phase 1 includes the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, a sport medicine clinic, meeting rooms and office space for the sport organizations. When Winnipeg won the bid to host the Games, it was decided the building’s name would change to the Canada Games Sport for Life Centre.

While the Qualico Training Centre, phase 2, was being built, athletes trained on the second floor of the phase 1 building. They didn’t have much to work with, as all they had was a small weight room and a cycling studio for the athletes to use.

Adam Decker, Sports Manitoba’s senior manager of athlete development, said it was difficult for his staff to do their jobs up to their standards due to the limited space. He said the gym could only accommodate one team at a time.

The new training centre will have room to fit up to a dozen teams training in some capacity.

"We were way behind places like Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Anything they had was night and day compared to what we had," said Decker.

 

The new Sport For Life building is expected to open Tuesday.<br> - JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS			</p>																																					Sport Manitoba unveils state of the art Sport For Life Centre
The new Sport For Life building is expected to open Tuesday.
- JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

 - JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS			</p>
- JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

 - JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS			</p>
- JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

 - JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS			</p>
- JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

 - JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS			</p>
- JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

 

Local athletes and coaches were well aware of that. Hnatiuk said over the years, athletes would have to leave the province to get the training they needed.

"We often times lose really good people in the sport field because they have opportunities to work with high-performing athletes in other provinces. We hope having a centre like this is going to attract Manitobans to stay here in those fields and work here, which in turn will help our athletes to stay here and be able to get the kind of resources here in a centre like this where they don’t need to go to another province when they reach a certain level," said Hnatiuk.

Decker and his training staff did the best they could with what they had to work with at the original training facility, but they had to be creative. With a lack of room, they’d have athletes running up and down the hallways and stairs of the building. People would have to look both ways when they’d leave their office to avoid being run over by an athlete.

Sara MacLennan is one of the athletes who used to sprint down the hallways. MacLennan played on the provincial soccer team that played at the 2013 Canada Games, and she played several seasons for the University of Manitoba Bisons’ soccer team. MacLennan said it was such a tight squeeze in the old space that she would have to go for a run when she got home because there were many times where she couldn’t get in a full workout.

"At the old gym, you’d come for an hour or so and you’d want to get out because more people would keep coming in and it would be harder to find space. Now that there’s so much space, I could spend the day here and have a blast," she said.

The old gym was the only training facility in the province that was aligned with Sport Manitoba and its Sport Performance Centre program. Decker said they had athletes from outside of Winnipeg that would drive hours to the facility several times a week, as it was the only place for them to train. Now with the new facility, the Sport Performance Centre has donated the old equipment and teamed with established training facilities in Brandon, Winkler and Selkirk to create regional training centres for athletes.

"You can imagine the people that we would miss because not everyone has that dedication or resources to (drive to Winnipeg to train). It’s those types of people that we were missing out on that we will no longer be missing out on," said Decker.

Athletes and trainers aren’t the only ones whose lives will be made much easier with the facility. Local sport organizations such as Basketball Manitoba will benefit greatly from the new space. The facility can hold up to six basketball games at a time.

Adam Wedlake, the executive director of Basketball Manitoba, said their provincial teams will be able to train and prepare in ways they’ve never been able to before.

"Most of the gyms our teams get are at schools. They just get a gym and that’s it," said Wedlake. "A chance to use all these extracurricular supports that we never had, all under one roof, is a game-changer for us."

Basketball Manitoba was able to sneak in early and host the facility’s first event. They hosted the 3 on 3 Canada Quest Winnipeg Qualifier tournament on June 24 and Wedlake said he and his staff heard nothing but positive reviews from players. They’re happy it’s not just a pretty building butt it’s a high-quality facility with a hardwood floor for the court surface. He said it’s not uncommon to see new sports facilities use cheap rubber flooring for the courts.

"A hardwood floor is critical to us. Sadly you see lots of facilities that are being built that look great on the outside but on the inside they don’t use a proper gym floor," said Wedlake.

While the building will forever be known as the legacy of the 2017 Canada Games, Hnatiuk and those involved in the building don’t want it to just be a reminder of the 17-day event. They believe it has the potential to have a much bigger impact and give local athletes and the community the resources to reach their training goals.

"We should provide the resources to our athletes to make sure they are just as prepared as any other athlete in this country. If our athletes, at a minimum, feel they’ve been given the resources and support as good as any athlete, than I think we’ve done our job," said Hnatiuk.

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen
Reporter

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Monday, July 10, 2017 at 11:55 PM CDT: adds web headline for tile

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us