April 6/05 12:46 pm - Interview Louis Barbeau, Press Release
Posted by Editoress on 04/6/05
Last week, the FQSC (Féderation Québeécoise des Sport) held a press conference in Quebec City to promote their proposal for a multi-sport facility incorporating an indoor velodrome. In addition to FQSC Executive Director Louis Barbeau, members of Canada's Track Worlds squad (Martin Gilbert and Yannick Morin) and Australian national track coach Martin Barras were in attendance. Barras is a Canadian, from the Quebec region, and was on hand to throw his support behind the project, pointing to the incredible success that Australia has had on the track over the past four years.
We spoke with Louis Barbeau after the press conference.
CC - Why are you making this announcement now?
LB - Because the 400th anniversary of Quebec is coming up in 2008 there has been a lot of ideas for a Legacy after event, all sorts of different things. We wanted to propose an indoor, multi-sport facility, including a track. The Louis Garneau track is in pretty bad shape and will have to be dismantled or rebuilt in a couple of years - both the plywood and the structure (supports) need to be rebuilt. Plus, we need an indoor facility for several sports. We have had some talks with tennis, but no other sports have come on board with us yet. This is an ideal, but we would not turn down other possibilities. Doesn't make sense for athletes to be training on Computrainers and cross-country skiing, and then go to Worlds. Martin (Barras) has acknowledged that Martin (Gilbert) is as good as any other riders at Worlds; he just needs the facilities to train. (Proposal NOTE: this is a 54 page document so click and download.)
CC - So what are you hoping to get by making this proposal now?
LB - We would like to get the money for feasibility study to confirm the numbers we have in our proposal, we know the numbers are good, but we want to confirm and refine them.
CC - How much are you looking for, for the feasibility study, and for the proposed facility itself?
LB - For the study, we would like to get $50,000, which would allow us to confirm everything. For the sports centre $15-$20 million; we believe $20 million is enough.
CC - Is it viable to look at putting that much money into a facility?
LB - Sure will be sustainable, viable. We feel that (this centre) can make a profit. Track cycling is spectacular, exciting. We have the opportunity for school programs. Cycling per capita in Quebec is 750 per 1000 of population - more than Great Britain, Sweden and many other countries. We are a cycling nation.
CC - What did Martin Barras have to say, based on his experience in Australia?
LB - Martin could relate it to the Australian model. They have invested into programs, and look at the success that they have had. It's a smart move - there are 12 medals available at the Olympics on track, compared to 4 in the road or mountain bike events (combined).
Official Press release
Quebec Cycling Federation and Quebec City National Cycling Center
Quebec Cycling Federation (FQSC) expresses support for Quebec City National Cycling Center indoor velodrome project, transmits official request to Quebecs sports minister.
Quebec City, March 31, 2005 As part of the festivities for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City, the Quebec City National Cycling Center (CNCQ) has brought forward a project that would see the construction of a multi-sport center that would include an international-caliber indoor cycling track. This multi-sport centre would be able to host basketball, tennis, volleyball and other sports, cultural or business events. The facility would also be able to host high-level international cycling events, including the 2007 junior world championships, the 2008 elite world championships, and World Cup track events.
The President of the Quebec Cycling Federation transmitted, on March 21st, an outline of the project and a funding request to Quebecs sports minister, Mr. Jean-Marc Fournier. The funding request would cover the cost of a feasibility study to determine the projects viability.
Canada currently has no indoor velodrome that meets international criteria, hindering its ability to produce future champions. By means of comparison, Australia, with a population of just under 20 million, has six indoor velodromes. Australias track program led by Martin Barras, a Quebec native has produced impressive results: at the Athens Olympics, Australia dominated track cycling with five gold, two silver and two bronze medals out of 12 events.
The project participants intend to present the project in terms of its benefits for the Quebec City region and its strategic importance in supporting Canadian cyclings efforts to secure results at the international level.
The Quebec Cycling Federation (FQSC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to managing and promoting the sport of cycling. The FQSC is affiliated with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI the sports world governing body), the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) and Sports-Quebec, and its public role is recognized by the Government of Quebec.
The Quebec City National Cycling Center (CNCQ) is a not-for-profit organization associated affiliated with the FQSC and CCA, and is dedicated to the overall development of cycling in the Quebec City region. It is part of a six-center network of national cycling centers, which includes centers in Victoria, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Hardwood Hills, Ontario; Bromont and St-Augustin, Quebec; and Dieppe, New Brunswick.