TORONTO - Sprinter Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont., wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy of Ottawa, Ont., and Athletics Canada Chief Executive Officer Rob Guy were in Toronto today to take part in TO2015's York University Stadium and Toronto Track and Field Centre renovation plans announcement.
Architectural renderings and funding details were confirmed for the CIBC Stadium at York University which will host track and field competition at the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. The site will also host the opening and closing ceremonies. The $45.5 million project is jointly funded by the Government of Canada and York University. Following the announcement Cassidy, a 2012 Paralympian, and Warner, the 4x100-metres relay anchor at the 2012 Olympic Games, took some 60 kids through some fun filled track and field activities.
"The Pan American Games serve as a great stepping stone for athletes of all levels to get that much needed experience of competing on a world stage," said Justyn Warner. "The timing couldn't be any better for TO2015 with the Rio Olympics one year later. Other than the exception of the National Track League, Canadian track and field athletes don't have many opportunities to compete in front of a home crowd; I'm very excited for the opportunity and plan to continue Canada's rich tradition of medals at the Games."
"The 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will help prepare our best athletes for success in Rio 2016 while exposing targeted development athletes to a high level competition in their pathway to the 2020 Olympic Games," said Martin Goulet, Athletics Canada Chief High Performance Officer. "High Performance Training Centres continue to play a central role in the delivery of our high performance plan. Dedicated training windows at York University's state of the art facilities will provide the Toronto Sprint and Hurdles National Training Centre's athletes with what they need to keep up with the world's best."
John Craig, Athletics Ontario Managing Director, "The Pan/Parapan American Games have served as a stimulus for the creation of the National Track League's (NTL) Toronto International Track + Field Games, helping build enthusiasm for TO2015 among the public, media, corporate Canada as well as athletes and prospective volunteers and officials."
Over the past two years the NTL has welcomed the world's best athletes including Pan Am stars such as Jamaica's Yohan Blake, the United States Ashton Eaton and the Bahamas Michael Mathieu. All three are 2012 Olympic Games medalists.
Once completed, Athletics Canada's national team intends to train at York University Stadium to ensure its optimum usage. The access to the facility will provide a world class daily training environment for targeted athletes, their coaches, and other staff working alongside them.