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.

Just Posted

Contentious cannabis production facility clears another planning hurdle

190,000-square-foot facility to be built in Blindman Industrial Park

Downtown Red Deer businesses concerned non-profit will move into prominent Ross Street space

Concern builds over John Howard Society converting a retail bay into office space

Red Deer County allows more urban hens

Five urban hen permits now allowed in hamlets, up from two

Red Deer high schools considering fines to stem ‘epidemic’ of student vaping

They are considering applying city no-smoking bylaw on school grounds

High Level and central Alberta fire serve as reminder to Red Deerians to be prepared

Central Alberta hamlet of Marlboro was on evacuation alert over the weekend

Dogs and drugs don’t mix: Red Deer business wants to leave downtown after 18 years

One business owner is done with downtown Red Deer after 18 years.… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Lowry scores 25 as Raptors even up series against Bucks with 120-102 win

Raptors 120, Bucks 102 (Best-of-seven series tied 2-2) TORONTO — Kyle Lowry… Continue reading

Hiker and his dog lived off the land while lost in Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A hiker and his dog ate berries and moss… Continue reading

“Fun Guy” Kawhi the latest example of NBA branding

TORONTO — Kawhi Leonard’s likeness looks down from some 10 storeys high… Continue reading

Tarantino is back in Cannes, 25 years after ‘Pulp Fiction’

CANNES, France — Twenty-five years after premiering “Pulp Fiction” in Cannes, Quentin… Continue reading

Gordon Lightfoot on starring in a ‘legacy’ documentary about himself

TORONTO — Gordon Lightfoot didn’t need much convincing when filmmakers approached him… Continue reading

Burger King to expand sales of new meatless burger to Europe

COPENHAGEN — Burger King will launch in Sweden a version of its… Continue reading

Most Read