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International sports centre planned for Whistler

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Whistler will be the site of a new Telus Mobility International Sports Centre.

Sam Corea, manager of media relations for the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Olympic Bid Corporation, says the facility won’t be a large physical structure so much as a hugely innovative concept.

"It’ll be similar to the National Sports Centre in Vancouver. The one in Whistler will be established to assist in the development of international and high-performance athletes in the alpine, nordic and other sports."

The centre is part of the vision of LegaciesNow, a provincial commitment to developing sports projects that leave a lasting legacy for British Columbians. LegaciesNow announced Feb. 2 that regional sports centres across B.C. would share in $300 000 for enhanced sport and athlete development.

"LegaciesNow will provide the funding to improve access to services for national and selected provincial level athletes to develop sports science and medicine programs tailored to winter sport," Corea added. "Right now, the National Sports Centre in Vancouver is more tailored to the other sports, so we don’t really have a specific winter sports location."

Corea says there’s no intention to build a large gym or training facility in the resort, but rather to build a headquarters that offers the expertise and referrals. Corea says Whistler was an obvious host for the program as it’s a potential Olympic venue and most training in these sports already takes place on Whistler/Blackcomb. A formal announcement for the centre is expected in early spring.

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