Charlottetown to Host Three High Profile Sporting Events
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – The City of Charlottetown and Tourism Charlottetown, in partnership with Hockey PEI, PEI Soccer Association, and the Island Gymnastics Academy, announced on Tuesday that Charlottetown will host the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, the 2010 BMO Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Championships, and the 2011 Canadian Gymnastics Championships.
In securing these three prestigious events, Charlottetown continues to prove itself as a major contender on both the national and international sport hosting circuits. Charlottetown has an outstanding reputation for hosting high-caliber sport events. With today’s announcement, Charlottetown continues to remain at the top of its game. In 2008, Charlottetown was recognized for a second consecutive year by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance as a top-three finalist for the Sport Tourism Industry Builder of the Year Award.
2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge
The 2008 Challenge will feature the best national teams in the sport of sledge hockey. Canada, the defending Paralympic gold medalists and world champions, United States, Norway and Japan will take part in the round-robin tournament, with the gold medal game on the final day between the top two round-robin finishers.
Sledge hockey is the Paralympic version of hockey and, since its debut on the Paralympic program at the 1994 Lillehammer Paralympic Winter Games; it has become one of the biggest attractions for spectators at the Paralympic Winter Games. It is fast-paced, highly physical and played on a sled by male athletes with a physical disability in the lower part of the body.
The 2008 Challenge will be held at the CARI Complex – MacLauchlan Arena from November 18th-22nd. In preparation for The Challenge, the CARI Complex – MacLauchlan Arena is currently undergoing a minor retrofit to accommodate The Challenge.
Team Canada held a mini-training camp at the CARI Complex – MacLauchlan Arena on its way to the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Championship this past spring.
“Hockey PEI is proud to be the host branch for the World Sledge Hockey Challenge. We know that local hockey fans will be treated to some great hockey and have a chance to witness these world class athletes over the five days of competition,” stated Gordie Whitlock, President of Hockey PEI. “We invite local fans to come and watch this exciting game and help cheer Canada to a gold medal.”
For more information on The 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, please visit: www.hockeycanada.ca.
2010 BMO Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Championships
The 2010 BMO Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Championships will showcase Canada’s top men’s and women’s teams, with over 550 participants representing their respective province and territory.
The men’s division will compete for The Challenge Cup and the women will compete for The Jubilée Trophy.
The 2010 BMO Championships will be hosted in Charlottetown at the UPEI Turf Field and other natural grass facilities. Games will also be played at the Cornwall Turf Complex. The Championships will take place leading up to and over the Thanksgiving weekend from October 7th-11th.
Charlottetown has previously hosted the Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Championships in 2004.
“The PEI Soccer Association is pleased to work with the SCORE! program and the City of Charlottetown to bring the finest amateur soccer players in the country to PEI in 2010,” said Gerald MacDonald, President of the PEI Soccer Association. “With an outstanding group of volunteers and facilities, which rank among the best in the country, I am confident this will be an outstanding event for players and fans of the game,” added MacDonald.
For more information on the 2010 BMO Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Championships, please visit: www.canadasoccer.com.
2011 Canadian Gymnastics Championships
As Canada’s largest annual celebration of gymnastics, the Canadian Gymnastics Championships will bring over 900 participants from across the country. Athletes will be competing for national titles in trampoline and tumbling.
A number of athletes who participate in this exciting competition will go on to represent Canada at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England.
The Championships will be co-hosted at the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre and the CARI Complex – MacLauchlan Arenas, located on the University of Prince Edward Island campus from May 23rd-28th.
This event will be the second largest participant-attended event that Charlottetown will have hosted next to the 2009 Canada Games.
“The Island Gymnastics Academy is pleased to partner with Gymnastics PEI to host the 2011 Nationals. The National Gymnastics Championships that will be held in 2011 will be an exciting competition as it will include all gymnasts who will be vying for a position on the Canadian National Team attending the Olympics in 2012,” said Lea Rand, Chair of the 2011 Championship.
For more information on the 2011 Canadian Gymnastics Championships, please visit: www.gymcan.org.
“Charlottetown takes great pride in and is thrilled with its national and international sport partnerships,” said Mayor Lee. “Today’s announcement is exciting and tremendous news for our city, as all three events will bring significant benefit to Charlottetown, the tourism industry and the sport community. Charlottetown is the natural choice for hosting sporting events in Canada,” stated Lee.
“Tourism Charlottetown, along with its partner the City of Charlottetown, continues to recognize the importance of the sport market in driving tourism, especially in the non-traditional tourism months,” states David MacKenzie, President of Tourism Charlottetown. “We will continue to invest in this market and assist the City of Charlottetown in all ways possible to continue on this successful road to becoming the most successful sport hosting destination in Canada. Thank you to the sport bodies here today for your confidence in our City and on a most successful bid presentation.”
The estimated economic impact directly and in-directly for all three events combined is $2M.
SCORE! is a partnership between the City of Charlottetown and Tourism Charlottetown, developed to grow sport tourism business in Charlottetown.
The SCORE! Team is comprised of industry professionals and is available to assist provincial sporting bodies and event organizers in attracting and hosting regional, national and international sporting events and sport meetings. Services include: preparation of bid proposals, assistance with bid presentations, funding assistance, marketing support, sales tools and welcome program for athletes.
The sport tourism industry is worth $2.4 billion a year in Canada. – Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance
Events Development Officer
City of Charlottetown
CEO – Tourism