Grande Prairie Regional College is putting together a regional athletic centre. The initiative will be headed up by Physical Education and Kinesiology department chair Ron Thomson, who says the idea has been talked about for years.
“We’re going to see if we can create a centre that brings all the services together and try to provide better services for all those elite athletes in the area; a facility that services more athlete training than just general fitness training.”
The immediate goal for the GPRC Centre for Sport, Fitness and Wellness is to create a community to give local athletes what they need to get to the next level. Long-term, the hope is to create a high performance athletic centre for northwestern Alberta.
“This will allow us to do a little bit more advanced training, and it seems to be one of the pieces that’s missing in our community. Whether it’s a facility like that, as well as the expertise that really surrounds that, our goal is to be able to create something like that for those up and coming athletes.”
With more than 25 years of coaching experience and his children being raised Grande Prairie, Thomson says he sees the importance of not sending athletes away to bigger centres to improve. With the concept in place, cementing a facility is the next step, with GPRC itself the ideal location.
If a better network and facilities leads to more high level teams and events in Grande Prairie, Thomson says that would be a welcome spinoff.