Olympic rowers seek approval for indoor training ‘tent’ at Camosun

Canada's men’s Olympic rowing team, which has trained in Saanich since 1987, is looking for even more local training space to prepare for London next year and Rio in 2016.

Canada’s men’s Olympic rowing team, which has trained in Saanich since 1987, is looking for even more local training space to prepare for London next year and Rio in 2016.

On Monday night Saanich council is expected to discuss the prospect of installing a “temporary” tent structure at Camosun College’s Interurban campus to allow the rowers to train indoors for the next six years.

“These guys are training eight, nine hours a day. They need to be able to come off the water (at Elk Lake), get to (the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence) into their indoor training space and get on their ergs right away,” said Donna Atkinson, executive director of Rowing Canada Aviron. Ergs, short for ergometers, are off-water rowing machines that help the athletes get as good, if not better, training benefits.

“Especially on the days they can’t get on the water, weather-wise, they don’t lose that training if they have a dedicated space.”

Calling the 232-square-metre temporary building a tent is a bit of a misnomer. Though it’ll be constructed like a tent – an aluminum-frame structure covered by fabric – it’ll be strong and sturdy, and include such amenities as solid doors, windows and a ventilation system.

“The only thing we have to prepare for is its foundation and floor slab. They can then assemble the thing in a matter of hours or days,” said architect Tony James, prior to Monday’s meeting.

Robert Bettauer, CEO of PISE, says the cost of the tent is relatively minimal. The fact it only needs to stay up until 2017 is because they hope to have expansion plans for the institute, which would include permanent designated space for the rowers.

“We’re proud to provide the highest level of support, particularly for our Olympic athletes gearing up for London. To do that, we need to find the dedicated space they need to do their training,” he said.

The rowers were formerly housed at the Vancouver Island Tech Park, but Atkinson said the space was small and wasn’t ventilated well enough for the athletes, who “work up quite a sweat.” They’ve since been booking gymnasium space at PISE, but have to share time with other classes and bookings.

Olympic gold-medal winning rower Adam Kreek said the importance of a dedicated indoor rowing space is crucial in Canada’s success on the world stage.

“The coach can actually come up and manipulate the bodies of ht athletes and physically show them the way they’re supposed to move. You get instantaneous feedback from coach to athletes, which helps the athletes  develop their skills to a level of finer precision,” he said.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Graduating Saanich students have overcome hardship

Claremont and Reynolds Grade 12s among the recipients of scholarship from Horation Alger Association

Victoria Harbour most polluted on B.C. coast: study

City’s industrial past and more recently, pharmaceuticals, create high levels of pollutants

Watch for high winds today and tomorrow

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria. According to Environment… Continue reading

Experts to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay starting this month

Does sedated, examined, collared and ear tagged in latest phase of deer management plan

Victoria dog attacked by otters off Dallas Road

Off-leash dogs and wildlife can make for a poor mix, veterinary staffer says

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

Canucks came out hot, beat Bruins 6-1

Loui Eriksson scores twice, catapulting Vancouver to a lopsided victory over Boston

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

Saanich councillor wants tax credits for political donations

A Saanich councillor would like to see tax credits for residents who… Continue reading

St. Michael’s advance to finals at Senior Girls Basketball Provincials

St. Michael’s University School of Saanich and Alberni District Secondary School (Port… Continue reading

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

Most Read