Second phase of Rowing Canada’s new training centre to begin soon

Second phase of Rowing Canada's new training centre to begin soon
Kevin Light/Rowing Canada Aviron
The National Training Centre at Quamichan Lake.

Construction on the second phase of the new National Training Centre in North Cowichan for Rowing Canada Aviron is about to get underway, with an expected completion date of June 2023.

Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) is moving its headquarters from Elk Lake in Saanich to Quamichan Lake in North Cowichan, and construction is about to enter phase two of four.

The Island Coastal Economic Trust is pitching in $220,000 for the second phase of the project.

Brodie Guy, the group’s CEO, says there is excitement about RCA moving its headquarters to North Cowichan and what it means for the region.

“People are going to be trained as Canadian Olympians there. And it’s bringing that into a smaller rural community on our Island,” Guy said in an interview with CHEK News. “There’s just a lot of benefits to kids growing up in the valley seeing people locally and opening their eyes to what they could get into themselves.”

He says another benefit is the number of jobs it will bring to the community, not just in the construction, but also in staffing the centre which will include coaches, sports medicine professionals, and more.

“There’s a lot of trickle-down effect, and direct benefits into the community around creating family support incomes and just looking to see like sustainable new investment coming,” Guy said.

The second phase of construction will include:

  • improvements to shoreline and dock infrastructure, such as fully accessible pathways and ramps;
  • new launches for rowing shells, canoes and kayaks, and personal watercraft;
  • improved roadway access, turnaround, accessible parking, and a staging area where watercraft can be readied for launch.
  • A sheltered floating dock will also be installed for motorized launches used for coaching, safety and officiating of selection trials and small regattas.

In a news release, RCA’s CEO says Quamichan Lake was chosen for the opportunities it offers, including year-round rowing conditions.

“No other lake on Vancouver Island has the capacity and benefits offered by Quamichan and the surrounding Cowichan area,” says Terry Dillon, CEO of RCA. “This under-utilized lake can easily accommodate the 6-lane, 2000-metre buoyed racecourse that is needed by the national team for daily training and for hosting selection trials and regattas.”

Earlier this month, Quamichan Lake was named as the location of the 2022 National Rowing Championships, which will take place Nov. 10-13.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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