The end of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will mark the end of an era for Swimming Canada in Victoria.

The national governing body for swimming in the country announced on Thursday that it will be closing both the High Performance Centre (HPC) and NextGen programs based at Commonwealth Place in Saanich.

According to a press release from Swimming Canada, it will instead focus resources on High Performance Centres in Vancouver and Toronto.

“Focusing our investment on two High Performance Centres – one in the eastern part of the country, and one in the west – will allow Swimming Canada to continue to succeed in the coming years,” said High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson.

“The Victoria centre has had some successful results over the years, now the time is right to best position ourselves for Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.”

The Victoria-HPC was established in the fall of 2008.

Athletes training there have won more than 20 medals for Canada at competitions including the Olympic Games, FINA World Championships, Commonwealth Games, and Pan Pacific Championships

They include Canada’s most decorated male swimmer Ryan Cochrane, and 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medal winner Hilary Caldwell.

In September, Swimming Canada announced that Victoria-HPC head coach Ryan Malette would be moving to Toronto, while NextGen Program Lead Coach Brad Dingey would serve as Head Coach for both programs until they wrap up next year.

Swimming Canada’s CEO met with Victoria staff, swimmers and partners on Thursday to discuss plans for the upcoming Olympic year.

The group includes double world junior backstroke champion Jade Hannah, two-time world championship medallist Eric Hedlin, Pan Am Games medallists Danielle Hanus, Faith Knelson and Jeremy Bagshaw, and Pan Pacific Championships medallist Mackenzie Padington.

“We would like to thank every staff member, service provider and volunteer who has supported the centre for all the years of great work they have put in to developing Canadian swimmers,” El-Awadi said.

HPC-Victoria is a partnership made up of Swimming Canada, Canadian Sport Institute – Pacific and the ISA High Performance Society.

CHEK News