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From the Star:



U of T to lift bar for elite athletes

Governing council expected to give nod today to $53 million Centre for High Performance Sport

Jun 25, 2007 04:30 AM
Daniel Girard
education reporter

Being a top-ranked middle distance track star is a lonely pursuit – long solo runs, speed drills, strength training at the gym.

Megan Brown is two years into such a regimen, her sights fixed on lowering her time in the 1,500 metres in hopes of representing Canada at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Now Brown, 22, and other athletes are poised to get more help to become faster, higher and stronger.

The University of Toronto governing council is today expected to give final approval to a $53 million Centre for High Performance Sport that will combine cutting-edge research and athlete testing with a sports medicine clinic, basketball and volleyball courts, and a weight training centre.

"It's about fostering an environment for success and being surrounded by people with similar goals," said Brown, a phys. ed. major who has won all seven Canadian university championships she's entered and twice been named U of T's top female athlete. "What's missing for me is feeling I'm part of a community. It's a motivating factor, when you're feeling low, to know you're going to wake up in the morning, put on your running shoes and head over to a place that feels like home. It's huge."

The 7,200-square-metre facility, to be built on Bloor St. W., one block west of the new Varsity Centre stadium, will serve as a fitness centre for all U of T students. It will also house a lab and teaching centre in disciplines from kinesiology and sports psychology to nutrition and medicine at Canada's largest university.

"This will be a fabulous facility for all of U of T and beyond," said Bruce Kidd, dean of phys. ed. and health and a former Olympic runner. "It will see people learning a new sport and forming health habits of a lifetime alongside those on their way to the Olympics."

Students will pay fees to cover about 75 per cent of the estimated $2.8 million in annual operating costs. Fundraising will cover capital expenses. This month, the Goldings, a long-standing family of U of T benefactors, made an $11 million gift.

Expected to open in 2009, the new facility would incorporate the new Varsity Centre and specialize in track and field, soccer, field hockey, basketball and volleyball as well as offer cross-training facilities.

"It certainly fits into the vision of what we're trying to do in high performance sport," said Debbie Low, president of the Canadian Sport Centre Ontario, which links elite athletes with coaches and researchers.

"It's exciting that it's with U of T. There's a lot of synergies with what they already have there."

Low said the U of T centre would be a perfect companion to the proposed $250 million elite Canadian Sport Institute in Markham.

Winter Olympic Games in Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010 mean there's top-flight athletic infrastructure there, but many sports officials say there's a need in the GTA for facilities catering to elite athletes and weekend warriors.

And Chris Rudge, chief executive of the Canadian Olympic Committee, said universities can bring together all components that go into peak athletic performance together on one campus.

"Being able to create that focus and attract other people to it is exceedingly important," Rudge said. "Excellence feeds off excellence."
 

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This is desperately needed. Very good news.
 

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From the Star:

The 7,200-square-metre facility, to be built on Bloor St. W., one block west of the new Varsity Centre stadium

Expected to open in 2009, the new facility would incorporate the new Varsity Centre and specialize in track and field, soccer, field hockey, basketball and volleyball as well as offer cross-training facilities.
Where on Bloor St would it be built? West of the new Varsity Centre on Bloor is the historic Admissions and Awards building then Woodsworth College Residence. Then there is the Bata Shoe Museum, an apartment building and the University of Toronto Schools.

Maybe it will be located south of Bloor on the west side of Devonshire Place on the site of the parking lot?
 

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If it fronts Bloor then would it most likely be on the north side. It's been over a year since I've been there but there is probably still a parking lot between Bloor and The Madison which would mean only taking out some small stores on Bloor.

This is pretty great. I used to use the A/C all the time. I guess it will be the only Uni in Canada with two facilities of this quality, scale.
 

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U of T moves forward on new fitness centre, student commons
Interim plan for facilities approved

Jun 29/07
by Althea Blackburn-Evans and Elaine Smith

The University of Toronto’s Governing Council approved approved an interim plan on June 25 that will give U of T students a state-of-the-art new fitness centre, a place where Ontario’s elite athletes can test and train and a student commons that offers an additional gathering place on the St. George campus.

The Centre for High Performance Sport, which will be located on Devonshire Place directly across from the new Varsity Stadium, will house a strength and conditioning centre, sports medicine clinic, a 2,000-seat basketball and volleyball court, and teaching and research labs that will explore a range of issues relating to health and athletic performance.

“U of T is setting a new standard of excellence for every aspect of sport in Canada, from research and teaching to training and competition to medical innovation and sport science,” said Bruce Kidd, dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Health. “The synergies created by the Centre for High Performance Sport will be felt far beyond the U of T community, boosting the standard of high performance sport across the province and the country.”

The centre fills a critical facility gap in Ontario. “This will contribute significantly to the creation of the sports institute environment that we very much need in Ontario,” said Chris Rudge, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee, citing the tremendous decline in the percentage of Ontario Olympians in recent years.

The plan for a student commons arises out of a recent review of student activity space which recommended the development of a new large node on the St. George campus. The facility is proposed for the same site as the Centre for High Performance Sport and will provide another place on campus for students to meet friends, study, show films and host conferences. Among the features being considered are lounge space, a food court and meeting rooms, as well as offices for a number of student organizations, such as the University of Toronto Students Union (UTSU).

While the Association of Part-Time University Students let Governing Council know of its opposition to the two projects, student governors and other elected student representatives felt compelled to express strong support for both the centre and the student commons on behalf of their constitutencies.

Estefania Toledo, herself a part-time student and a member of the planning committee for each project, noted that the administration and UTSU had collaborated effectively to bring the centre and the commons to this stage. She told Governing Council that the student activity space was much needed and that the commons, with its location near transit and its round-the-clock hours, would be very convenient for students.

Robin Goodfellow, who represents full-time undergraduate students, said it was a special day when two such student-oriented projects were being considered by Governing Council. He told the gathering that future students would benefit greatly from the space and their experiences would be enhanced by having commons and the centre located side-by-side.

“I’m so happy and so relieved that these proposals have gained so much support,” said fourth-year student Masha Sidorova, co-chair of the council of athletics and recreation, a committee that oversees intramurals and co-curricular athletic programs at U of T. “They will provide students with so much more opportunity to interact and have an enhanced experience outside the classroom.”

The university aims to raise funds for the $53 million Centre for High Performance Sport by the end of the year and begin construction in the fall of 2008. The campaign kicked off with an $11 million lead gift from the Goldring Family, the largest gift ever made to athletics at a Canadian university.

“Our aim is to help create a world-class facility that will attract top rate researchers and athletes, and ideally foster new Olympians,” says Blake Goldring, on behalf of the Goldring Family. “These are the things that really motivate and excite us.”

The cost of the student commons is anticipated to fall within the $25 million to $36 million range and will be partially financed through a student levy, if it is approved by referendum this fall. The university will contribute 50 cents for each dollar the levy raises, a formula that has been successful at both the Mississauga and Scarborough campuses.
 

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Immediately behind the Admissions and Awards building, there is an empty dirt lot beside the parking lot...I think it's probably going to be built there. Initially I heard news that the Law faculty had acquired that land and was going to build something there...I guess not?
 

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What a waste of money for a school that is not known for sports. Most of U of T is made up of Asians which generally aren't too big on sports. Hence U of T's terrible reputation with athletics. When was the last time the blues won a football game?
 

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What a waste of money for a school that is not known for sports. Most of U of T is made up of Asians which generally aren't too big on sports. Hence U of T's terrible reputation with athletics. When was the last time the blues won a football game?
Chuckle...chuckle...

Btw I don't think there's a single Asian person on the Varsity football team.
 

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What a waste of money for a school that is not known for sports. Most of U of T is made up of Asians which generally aren't too big on sports. Hence U of T's terrible reputation with athletics. When was the last time the blues won a football game?
Why do people always equate success in 2 out of 20+ varsity sports with whether a school's athletic program is a success. Men's basketball and football at the University of Toronto is not competitive, but this university is dominant in almost every other sport contested.

Besides, whether U of T is successful in the CIS is not really of any consequence. This would be a high performance centre for Canada's and more specifically Ontario's elite athletes, not exclusive to U of T's. What better place than a school that is home to arguably the highest concentration of top notch researchers in the country?

This centre is not only desperately needed, but will bring prestige and alot of PhD's to this city. A big win for Toronto. Hopefully, this centre will help Canada regain it's superiority over Australia in summer sports. Losing to a country 2/3 our size is embarassing.
 

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Haha! Priceless!:cheers:
I fail to see the humour in this. It's a simple and accurate observation. There aren't very many Asian athletes over here. Many of them are brought up in strict households and are disciplined to work extremely hard in their academics, thus leaving little time for extra curricular activities. Obviously that's not the case for all of them. But like someone mentioned above U of T does well in other sports. Just not the major ones.
 

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How is it not accurate? How many Oriental or South Asian athletes are there aside from sports like cricket, baseball, soccer and ping pong?

That is like asking "how many Asian porn stars are there aside from the ones that engage in anal, oral, and vaginal sex?" Cricket, baseball and soccer are some of the biggest sports in the world.
Besides, I'm pretty sure the point of this project is to attract more athletes to the university. Do you think all attempts at improvement are wastes of money?
 

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There are many reasons for the perception of Asians not being interested in sport. Sport, to a large extent, is a pursuit of the rich. (Soccer is a notable exception) Until recently, sport has not been part of Asian culture in the same way that it has in the West. The phenomenal growth in sport in Asia is very recent and restricted to sports not popular in Canada: cricket, table tennis, and to a lesser extent soccer.

Japan and South Korea have a lengthier tradition in sports and a tradition in sports that Westerners care about. They also happen to be wealthy nations with large middle classes. India? China? Sporting culture in India pretty much means cricket and not much else. Sporting culture in China is in its infancy. Only in the past 15 years has China emerged as a sporting nation. Attendance at Western sporting events was practically non-existent even 10 years ago.
 

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That is like asking "how many Asian porn stars are there aside from the ones that engage in anal, oral, and vaginal sex?" Cricket, baseball and soccer are some of the biggest sports in the world.
Besides, I'm pretty sure the point of this project is to attract more athletes to the university. Do you think all attempts at improvement are wastes of money?
Not in North America they aren't. With the exception of baseball.
 
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