Rugby Canada hosted the official grand opening of the Al Charron Training Centre in Langford Tuesday. The event took place inside the facility, amidst the squat racks and equipment. There were present and past national team players, coaches and staff in attendance.
Allen Vansen, Rugby Canada CEO, reminisced about the journey it’s been to get the training centre to completion. The plans for the training centre began five years ago, and 15 months ago they broke ground for construction.
“This centre represents the single largest investment of Rugby Canada in our pursuit of keeping our teams and players competitive on the international stage,” Vansen said.
Guest speaker Al Charron thanks family, friends, @RugbyCanada and past coaches and teammates for the namesake honor at the grand opening of the new Rugby Canada training facility. 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/CXR2oatfpD
— Goldstream Gazette (@GoldstreamNews) February 28, 2018
Charron, the namesake and World Rugby Hall of Famer, gave a speech thanking his late parents, family, friends, national team, and his wife for the years of support. Charron is an Ottawa native and thanked the Ottawa Irish rugby club, where he started playing as a child, for giving him a love of the sport he played for so many years. He struggled to put into words how he felt about the training centre using his name. “There’s so many players that have come before me, guys that I played beside, that could have easily had their name on this building,” he said.
Langford Mayor Stew Young expressed appreciation for Rugby Canada bringing a national sport to a city like Langford, that wasn’t as big five years ago as it is today.
Young was presented with a new Canterbury Rugby Canada jersey.
Gillam Group, the construction company responsible for building the facility, finished under budget, which was surprising considering they couldn’t pour concrete for two months while it was raining, chair Keith Gillam said. He added with the help of many they were able to create a design that would suit the needs of the athletes exactly. The ribbon cutting included Young, Charron, Bill Webb, Kevin Reid, Rick Power, Vansen, and four Rugby Canada athletes.