Posted by Editoress on 11/11/08
Local And National Sport Organizations Join Legal Fight to Save the Juan De Fuca Velodrome
Five major provincial and national sports organizations have joined the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association in its crusade to save the Juan de Fuca Velodrome from destruction.
GVVA president Chris Anstey announced today that PacificSport - Victoria; the Canadian Sport Centre - Pacific; the Canadian Cycling Association; Triathlon Canada and Cycling BC have joined the legal action to prevent West Shore Parks and Recreation Society from demolishing the legacy of the 1994 Commonwealth Games.
Anstey said the decision by these leading sport organizations to throw their support behind the effort to preserve the facility underscores the fact that the bicycle track is a valuable part of cycling infrastructure, not only for the capital regional district, but also for the country. He noted that all the organizations have mandates to promote sport in the region and have, therefore, a significant stake in the issue.
"No organization with an interest in the development of the sport of cycling can stand by and watch the destruction of this facility," said Anstey.
The GVVA began its effort to save the velodrome in the summer of 2008 when WSPRS declared its intention to demolish the facility to make way for an all-weather playing field and parking stalls.
The cycling track is a legacy of the 1994 Commonwealth Games that has been in continuous use since that time and has served both as a recreational facility and as a venue for training Canada's top cycling athletes.
Gord Sleivert, vice president sport performance at the Canadian Sport Centre, said his organization joined the effort to save the velodrome because its destruction would be a setback for a number of Victoria-based sports.
"Developing and preserving sport infrastructure are critical to the development of athletes and are a particular challenge in a country as large as Canada," said Sleivert
John MacMillan, general manager of PacificSport Victoria, said his organization is also a legacy of the 1994 Commonwealth Games and a partner in both the National Cycling Centre and the National Triathlon Center.
"We have a very strong vested interest in this facility, which plays a critical role in the high performance training and sport development of two of Victoria's higher profile sports. It should not be destroyed until after a replacement facility is built," he said.
Lorraine Lafreniere, CEO of the Canadian Cycling Association said there is an acute shortage of cycling tracks in Canada and that the closure of the Juan de Fuca track would have a negative impact on the training programs of the high performance athletes, who have chosen to live and train in Victoria.
"Only seven communities in Canada have cycling tracks. By comparison, Australia has 15, England 16 and Germany 26. The closure of the track in Victoria would be very costly to the sport of cycling," she said.
Larry McMahon, Director of the National Triathlon Training Centre at PacificSport, said the Juan de Fuca velodrome is a unique training venue for developing triathletes, including some of the country's best international competitors.
"The track and infield together make a perfect facility for developing triathletes. There are very few areas where these conditions could be duplicated without concerns for traffic or pedestrians," he said.
Contact: Chris Anstey - 250 881 6093
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