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Programs underway at new high performance centre

Public access will be allowed on a trial basis by mid-October

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The new Canadian Sports Centre-Pacific, Whistler Campus - also known as the athletes high performance centre - has already hosted camps from the national ski cross and freestyle teams, and this past Wednesday opened their new gym to the public through the Bodystorm Fitness program.

A legacy of the 2010 Games, located in the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, the gym occupies around 4,000 square feet of space and features state of the art training equipment left over from the Games, as well as an evaluation centre and therapy rooms.

The first priority of the facility, according to manager Lucinda Jagger, is to provide a high performance environment for athletes at the provincial and national levels, which athletes can't get at other public gyms in Whistler. As well, the facility will support the athletes living in legacy housing at Cheakamus Crossing, visiting athletes in Whistler to train on the 2010 legacy facilities, and athletes that are enrolled in a wide range of recognized high performance programs based in Whistler.

"I've been to national training centres in Australia, the United States and Beijing when I worked in China, and I can say this facility is world class," said Jagger. "We're really lucky to have something like this."

The facility was opened to carded athletes recognized by provincial and national sports organizations on Sept. 1, similar to the high performance gym that opened at the Whistler Mountain Ski Club in 2006. The facility gets some funding from the provincial and federal governments to provide services to those athletes.

"Our mandate is to carded athletes and supporting that high performance programming... but once we have that established and we're providing services to these groups we can get into public access," said Jagger. She added that public access will be allowed on a trial basis for around six months.

Jagger expects to be able to welcome the public by Oct. 15, selling 10-time and 20-time passes to use the facility. The cost is still being decided, but it will be between $9 and $10 per visit.

The CSC-P campus will not be selling monthly or annual memberships because there will be blacked-out days and hours when the entire gym is booked by teams, such as an upcoming bobsleigh and skeleton training camp in the fall. The public will be informed of blackouts by e-mail a few weeks in advance, Jagger says.

The gym will open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the first few months, but hours should be extended from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday as staff is added. There are no plans yet to open on weekends, but Jagger has sent out a survey to Cheakamus Crossing residents to determine what their needs are and could adjust hours based on the needs of the community. Currently, the Bodystorm Fitness group has booked into the facility four days a week, three sessions per day.

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