A brisk, wintery day couldn’t put the freeze on an excited group of Rugby Canada staff and players, as well as City of Langford officials, as they formally broke ground and announced the name of a new high-performance facility that hopes to bring the program even more international success in the near future.
The Al Charron National Training Centre, named after one of Canadian rugby’s most distinguished stars, is due to be completed next fall and will add to the existing Rugby Canada headquarters at Langford’s Westhills Stadium.
Charron, an Ottawa native and former Canadian National Team captain, was on hand for the announcement and spoke about his excitement for the project and for the opportunities the facility will give young rugby players of the present and future.
“I would have loved to have had this set up and particularly this high-performance centre to better myself and my teammates for international rugby. I’m very excited for the current and certainly the future players, both men and women, to have the use of this facility to fully realize their potential as players,” Charron said.
Charron also said that he was “deeply moved” at having the facility named after him.
Langford Mayor Stew Young spoke to rugby’s importance within the community and what the new centre will mean for the region.
“The more that we can do for rugby, the better it is for our community, the better it is for youth sports across Canada.”
“Having the national training centre here is great for our community and great for all of Victoria…It can only make you guys better, stronger and you’ll be absolutely looked upon in our community as heroes because of what you do for our youth and our sport,” he said, nodding to the national team members in attendance.
Kayla Moleschi, a Williams Lake native who was a part of Canada’s bronze medal-winning sevens squad in Rio this summer, said that the facility is a new step forward in building a “culture of excellence” within the Canadian program.
“For athletes like me, both present and future, who will have the opportunity to use this facility, today’s milestone is truly an exciting one,” she said.
The training centre will feature a 7,000 sq. ft. gym, a therapy clinic, recovery and stretching rooms and a kitchen and lounge area.
Construction is due to be completed next fall.