Earlier this year, the Orillia Channel Cats Swim Club learned it would receive a grant to help purchase a new scoreboard and timing equipment and, on Tuesday, it became a reality.
The equipment, worth $225,000, was delivered to the new Orillia Recreation Centre.
Hours later, Channel Cats officials joined Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop and representatives from the Ontario Trillium Foundation at St. Paul’s Centre for the official granting ceremony.
“You made a strong case for the equipment and we knew this was something we wanted to invest in,” said Allan Craig, a volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which provided $150,000 toward the project.
Channel Cats treasurer Michael Gordon received kudos from head coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards. She thanked Gordon for his leadership in spearheading the grant application.
“Our club is truly grateful for your level of commitment,” she said, adding the new equipment will “enhance our training opportunities.”
“We are truly excited to dive in and be part of the growth of our community,” she added.
Those in attendance at Tuesday’s event got a sneak peek at the recreation centre. Shanna Reid, the city’s recreation manager, and Jack Muir, aquatic and fitness supervisor, provided an update on the facility’s progress.
They said a soft opening was planned for the fall and showed photos of the boxes containing the new video display scoreboard and electronic timing equipment that will be installed at the West Street centre.
“Here’s your new home,” Reid said to applause from the audience.
Dunlop, whose nieces are members of the swim club, congratulated the Channel Cats on their successful grant application.
“I look forward to joining you all at the new recreation centre to look up at the big scoreboard and cheer on our swimmers,” she said.
The new recreation centre will feature a 25-metre, eight-lane competitive pool as part of the aquatic facility.
“This grant will allow the 150 youth swimmers of the Channel Cats to train at a higher level and host larger regional swimming competitions,” Thompson-Edwards said.