Local MLA and minister of agriculture, Lana Popham, Coun. Susan Brice, Lisa Beare, provincial minister of tourism, arts and culture, and Olympic-medal winning swimmer Ryan Cochrane attended Monday’s funding announcement for Saanich’s Commonwealth Pool. The province announced $100,000 in funding to help high-performance athletes access the facility in preparation of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games. (Wolf Depner/News Staff).

Province dips into Saanich’s Commonwealth pool with Olympic funding

Province gives $100,000 towards the Commonwealth Pool Operating Trust Fund

A former Canadian Olympian who trained at Saanich’s Commonwealth Pool applauds additional support for high-performance athletes training at the facility.

“Victoria and Saanich is one of the best communities to be an athlete in,” said Ryan Cochrane, “But it takes funding to support those athletes. If they can’t afford to continue to swim after a certain age, we are potentially barring our next Olympic heroes. So this type of funding is incredibly important and I hope it continues.”

Cochrane, who won an Olympic bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, and a a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Games in London, made these comments after the provincial government announced $100,000 towards the Commonwealth Pool Operating Trust Fund. The federal government, provincial government and the District of Saanich established the fund after Greater Victoria hosted the 1994 Commonwealth Games as a legacy of the games.

RELATED: Former Olympic swimmer looks to make a splash in real estate

This funding covers a two-year funding shortfall between now and the end of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games cycle in August 2020, so that athletes and coaches can continue training without disruption.

Lisa Beare, provincial minister of tourism, arts and culture, announced the funding Monday at the facility alongside Cochrane, local MLA and Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, and Coun. Susan Brice, representing Saanich.

Beare said the facility is a key training facility for future Olympians and Para-Olympians.

She said the funding will reduce barriers for high-performance aquatic athletes training at the pool. The funding will also support more than 600 club-based athletes who use the pool and other athletic resources.

RELATED:Gas tax funds fuel a greener Commonwealth Place

Brice said the investment will not only help high-performance athletes, but also aspiring athletes who observe them. She also highlighted the larger legacy of the facility and the trust fund.

The pool serves both high-performance athletes and residents, she said.

“The one-of-a-kind partnership formed between all levels of government has allowed sports and recreation to continuously thrive in our community,” she said. “Our unique partnership has allowed both residents and high performance athletes to work side by side and benefit from that synergy.”

Commonwealth Place – built as part of the legacy of the 1994 Commonwealth Games – is used by more than 2,500 residents (including 1,600 swimmers) every day, employing about 200 staff and 150 contractors.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich residents warned to watch livestock after bear kills llama

Officers with Conservation, Saanich police could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

More than 250 riders took part in the fifth annual Tripleshot CrossFondo, which riders across parts of the Saanich Peninsula, including this field near Sluggett Farms. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Tripleshot CrossFondo rides across Saanich Peninsula

More than 250 cyclists took part in mystery-course race

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A 23-foot sailboat that broke free from its anchor was smashed against Cattle Point during the early October south-easterly storms. (Ron Geezin Photo)
Storm-smashed boat pulled off rocks of Cattle Point in Oak Bay

Sailboat a casualty of last week’s big storms

Saanich police are warning residents to be aware of a non-aggressive bear sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace. (Black Press Media file photo)
Non-aggressive bear spotted in Saanich neighbourhood

Saanich police advise residents to be aware of sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read