Sports training centre takes important step

Organizers are keeping the ball in play on an ambitious plan to develop a sports training centre in Sundre featuring Olympic-sized ice surfaces and indoor soccer pitches.

Organizers are keeping the ball in play on an ambitious plan to develop a sports training centre in Sundre featuring Olympic-sized ice surfaces and indoor soccer pitches.

A meeting with local sports and community groups was held on Saturday to get input on what sort of facility they feel would be a good fit for Central Alberta. It was hosted by the local society formed to pursue the facility, which could cost $45 million to $65 million by some early rough estimates.

Mike Beukeboom, a local businessman who has been actively promoting the fitness centre, was encouraged by what he has heard so far.

“It was a good first step for the community,” he said. “We got a really good sense that we’re looking at strong synergies amongst all the groups in town.”

The Sundre Fitness Development Centre would be designed to put the community on the map as a go-to destination for serious and recreational athletes and their teams. Besides arenas and soccer pitches, the facility could include running tracks, lacrosse boxes, multi-use, weight and training rooms, accommodations and food services.

Fitness Centre Society president Les Swelin sees the work underway now as a “communication exercise.

“In my view, we have to have a very, very good understanding in the community of what’s going on before we can proceed.”

Large projects like this typically start off slowly and the job of building and maintaining momentum will come later. “I’m not really too worried about momentum at this point.”

The society is meeting with Mountain View County next week and the Town of Sundre the following week to discuss the fitness centre.

Further public meetings will likely be held by the end of April, he said.

Beukeboom said project backers would pursue federal and provincial funding to get the facility off the ground. It would not be built all at once, but developed in phases over many years and is expected to generate millions in direct and spinoff revenues.

One of the next steps is for the society is to develop a business plan. Crazy Canuck skiing legend Jungle Jim Hunter is expected to be contracted to produce the plan.

Hunter, who is a Calgary-based coach and motivational speaker who runs Sport Management Systems, has actively promoted the fitness centre concept in past presentations in Sundre. Hunter has said Sundre’s central location and proximity to major transportation routes is an advantage.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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

Just Posted

Red Deer’s top RCMP officer says some new crime-fighting innovations are already being tested

Supt. Grobmeier said he’s glad to get back to work after the uncertainty of a policing review

Accused getaway car driver in Walmart shooting appears in court

Crystal Maurice is accused of driving the car the shooter used to make his escape

Burger King and Petro-Canada about to open at Junction 42

New highway commercial development is located at Highways 2 and 42 interchange

Sylvan Lake man accused of killing his wife makes court appearance

Satnam Singh Sandhu is charged with second-degree murder

WATCH: Canadian kid shovelling snow video goes viral

Rory might just be Canada’s most popular toddler right now, thanks to… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Hamilton’s Forge FC sells star midfielder Tristan Borges to Belgian team

Forge FC has sold star midfielder Tristan Borges, the leading scorer and… Continue reading

Akim Aliu, who spoke out about racism, signs with Czech team

Akim Aliu, the player who helped prompt a new discussion about racism… Continue reading

Netflix faces growth pressure in Canada as it picks up 125,000 new subscribers

TORONTO — Netflix recruited more Canadian subscribers in the final months of… Continue reading

“Naughty boy:” Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

LONDON — Terry Jones, a founding member of the anarchic Monty Python… Continue reading

Parks Canada says no to gondola proposed from Banff townsite to Mount Norquay

BANFF, Alta. — Parks Canada has rejected a proposed gondola to take… Continue reading

Prison watchdog decries ‘Indigenization’ of Canada’s correctional system

OTTAWA — The proportion of Indigenous people in federal custody has hit… Continue reading

McConnell backs off, abruptly eases impeachment trial limits

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate plunged into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial… Continue reading

Most Read