Some of the Powering Potential Fund money will go toward completing the competition-level starting blocks at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Summer Games equipment funding will have lasting impact

Cowichan 2018 will get money for rowing, swimming, triathlon and wrestling equipment

Athletes at the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games will benefit from $40,000 in equipment funding announced last week, much of which will have a permanent impact on sports in the Cowichan Valley.

The BC Games Society announced the funding on Monday. The money comes from the society’s Powering Potential Fund, which is an initiative to create new opportunities to strategically invest in projects to further develop sport in B.C.

A number of projects were identified in preparation for the Games that could not only help stage the Games in the Cowichan Valley, but could also provide a lasting legacy either locally or across the province, and four of those projects were selected for support. Rowing, swimming, triathlon and wrestling will benefit from the funding.

“Through the foresight of the Powering Potential Fund and community partners, we are proud to be able to proactively fund these projects,” said BC Games Society president and CEO Kelly Mann. “These investments will benefit the competitions at the BC Summer Games but, more importantly are a legacy to enhance training and competitions for future athletes in Cowichan and across the province.”

The temporary dock on Quamichan Lake will be permanently anchored, with upgrades for safety and access for both athletes and the general public. The Municipality of North Cowichan and Rowing BC are also funding the dock project.

“Currently, Quamichan Lake has very few access points for launching non-motorized boats, such as kayaks and canoes,” North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure said. “This new dock will enhance the ability of recreational and sporting groups to safely and conveniently launch small boats into the lake.”

Three starting blocks will complete the set of eight upgraded blocks for competitions at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, which will be used for the BC Games and future competitions hosted by the Duncan Stingrays and Cowichan Valley Breakers swim teams.

Portable bike racks for triathlon transition areas will be purchased and used by Triathlon BC for the 2018 Summer Games and for other events throughout the province.

“Triathlon BC is thrilled to be the recipient of the transition racks,” said Triathlon BC executive director Allan Prazsky. “When not in use at the BC Summer Games, these portable racks will be used throughout the province in our development series events, where they will make an impact on our emerging athletes. We are grateful to the BC Games, the Powering Potential Fund, and the financial partners that made this happen.”

And in partnership with the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club, a new wrestling mat is being purchased that will be used at the 2018 Games and by the club afterwards, and will also be made available for future BC Games.

“This funding will allow the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club the opportunity to showcase wrestling at the 2018 BC Summer Games on a certified competition-level mat,” CVWC head coach Nick Zuback said. “This funding has also created the opportunity for the club to grow wrestling in the Cowichan Valley by running workshops for schools, and hosting camps and higher level wrestling competitions in the future. The Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club is very thankful for the BC Games Society and the Powering Potential Fund for granting this amazing opportunity.”

The Powering Potential Fund was launched in 2017 with $50,000 in matching funding from the Province of B.C. Coast Capital Savings contributed $15,000 which is being used towards the investments in Cowichan. Through corporate and individual donations the fund continues to grow to allow for funding opportunities through grants such as these important equipment investments.

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