Rowing Canada moves national training facility from Elk Lake to North Cowichan
Rowing Canada is paddling away from its current training facility at Elk Lake, the organization announced Wednesday – but it isn't going far.
The men's training program has operated at the lake for decades, and the team even paddled to a men's eights Olympic gold medal in Beijing in 2008.
Rowing Canada has previously said it was accepting proposals for a new long-term home for 2020, and as it turns out, it's only moving a few kilometres to North Cowichan.
"We are delighted to have found such a willing and supportive partner in North Cowichan," Rowing Canada Aviron CEO Terry Dillon said in a statement. "From our initial conversations, it was clear that they shared our vision for creating a home for our National Team programs. We look forward to working together in the coming months and years."
Rowing Canada said communities across the country put in bids to land the training centre, but North Cowichan was selected because it had the "strongest technical scorecard, high level of community support, access to suitable bodies of water, dedicated and tailored boathouse facility and dryland facilities in close proximity."
Mayor Al Siebring welcomed the news, saying North Cowichan was "extremely pleased" it had been selected.
National athletes will continue to train at Quamichan Lake in the Cowichan Valley in the build-up to the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.
When news broke last August that it was considering a move, Rowing Canada officials said there was a chance the team could stay put. It did not mention why it was leaving Elk Lake in Wednesday's news release.