What started out as a replacement for the aging Rutherford Rink has evolved into a multi-sport facility at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and now a large donation will allow for the addition of a cutting-edge sport science and health complex.
Long-time U of S donors Ron and Jane Graham have made a contribution of just over $2-million to establish the new complex, which will be known as the Ron and Jane Graham Sport Science and Health Centre.
“When Merlis Belsher Place started to come together and there was a footprint available it was a logical choice for what we would include in there in terms of sports science and health,” said U of S dean of kinesiology Chad London.
“We started to coalesce around this idea, saw that it was feasible, began talking to Ron and Jane, and their gift is what’s making it happen.”
The 6,300-square-foot facility will be attached to Merlis Belsher Place, which is set to open later this year. Its aim is to help enhance athlete performance and education through research in injury prevention, nutrition and conditioning, and performance and recovery.
“Having six thousand square feet of research and lab space more than triples the space that we currently have for that activity and with teams being situated out of here, with (Huskies) hockey and with basketball training over here and soccer as well, the proximity makes sense,” London said.
The new complex will boast a number of features geared toward sports science research including a concussion evaluation space, private treatment rooms, blood and tissue collection area, motion capture technology and a three-storey engineering impact testing suite, or “drop zone.”
Huskies student-athletes and other high-performance athletes from across Saskatchewan and beyond will have access to integrated health care teams to help manage training, injury prevention and rehabilitation.
The new facility is expected to open in early 2019.