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Posted: February 26, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Athletics Canada announces National High Performance Training Centres

OTTAWA – Athletics Canada is pleased to announce today the confirmation of six National High Performance Training Centres that will pave the way to London 2012. As the central component of its High Performance Plan for the new quadrennial, the centres’ objectives are to produce podium and Top 8 results at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Centres Lead Coaches will report directly, and fall under the supervision of National Team Head Coach Alex Gardiner; “It’s a hard fact that our lead coach team is among the best in the world. Each one of them is successful, experienced and dedicated to medal performance. Individually and collectively they understand what it takes to reach the podium. The support from our partners, Sport Canada, The Canadian Olympic Committee and Road to Excellence puts us in a position where we can compete with the best…no excuses. Throughout the next four years we will work smarter and harder than ever before. Our accountability to athlete and coach preparation and support will be focused and unwavering and so will our expectations.”

The Road to London 2012 – Athletics Canada National High Performance Training Centres

Calgary National High Performance Centre –Outreach

Led by Lead Coach Les Gramantik, the Calgary centre will serve as an outreach program to targeted athletes not currently based at one of the Training Centres. The centre also counts Canadian record holder Jessica Zelinka who placed 5th at the recent Olympic Games in the heptathlon as well as rising stars Samuel Effah and Amonn Nelson.

Edmonton National High Performance Centre – Sprints

The sprint focused Edmonton National High Performance Centre will be led by Lead Coach Derek Evely. The centre features an interesting mixture of proven high performance performers and young up and coming talent. Among the athletes based in Edmonton is 400-metre specialist Tyler Christopher who won bronze at the 2005 World Championships and won gold at the 2008 World Indoor Championships. The talent in Edmonton also includes Adam Kunkel, a finalist at the 2007 World Championships in the 400-metre hurdles, and 20-year old Carline Muir who made it to the semi-final of the 2008 Olympic Games in the 400-metres.

Kamloops National High Performance Centre – Throws

Led by Lead Coach Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk, the Kamloops centre is specialized in throwing events and counts amongst its roster Dylan Armstrong who placed 4th in the shot put at the latest Olympic Games. The centre also features Armstrong’s Olympic teammate Sultana Frizell who trains and competes in the hammer throw.

Ottawa National High Performance Centre – Relays

Glenroy Gilbert will lead the Ottawa National High Performance Centre. The relay focused centre will serve as the hub of the relay program with the men’s 4x100-metres and women’s 4x400-metres as priorities. The men’s 4x100-metres relay team was 6th at the Beijing Games.

Sherbrooke National High Performance Centre – Para-Athletics

Lead Coach Jean Laroche will be at the helm of the Sherbrooke National High Performance Centre for Wheelchair Para-Athletics. The centre is tasked with producing podium performances in London and also preparing the next wave for the 2016 Paralympic Games. Current athletes based in Sherbrooke include 2008 Paralympic silver and double bronze medalist Diane Roy and André Beaudoin who won bronze in Beijing in the wheelchair 100-metres.

Further initiatives may be announced in the para-athletics stream once the new Head Coach and funding is in place.

Victoria National High Performance Centre – Middle Distance

The Victoria centre is led by Lead Coach Wynn Gmitroski and will focus on middle distance events. Among the athletes training at this centre is a pair of 2008 Olympians and specialists in the 800-metre, Gary Reed and Achraf Tadili. Reed finished 4th in Beijing and is the silver medalist from the 2007 World Championships while Tadili is the 2006 Commonwealth Games silver medalist and 2003 Pan American Games gold medalist.

Fresh off a successful quadrennial highlighted by a bronze medal, 11 Top 16, 8 Top 12 and 5 Top 8 finishes at the Olympic Games, Athletics Canada along with its funding partner, Road to Excellence, has put this plan in place to ensure sustainable podium results in London and beyond.

Kamloops National Throws Centre Official Kick-off

Media are invited to attend the official launch of the Kamloops National High Performance Centre on March 6th at Tournament Capital Centre beginning at 10:30 am. The official launch will feature Martin Goulet, Athletics Canada’s Chief High Performance Officer as well as Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk, Olympians Dylan Armstrong and Sultana Frizell and 2006 Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist Jennifer Joyce.

Athletics Canada is the national governing body for track and field, cross country running, road running and road racing.

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