May 8, 2013 3:10 pm

Edmonton to be home of Canadian Women’s Basketball Team

Saville Sports Centre, University of Alberta.

Supplied, Centaur Products

EDMONTON – City Council voted Wednesday to make Edmonton the home of the Canadian Women’s Basketball Team.

The plan, developed in association with the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, sees the team training at the Saville Community Sports Centre at the University of Alberta’s south campus.

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“We are excited to welcome the women’s national team to Edmonton, but we are particularly excited about the opportunities it offers our community,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel.

“Canada Basketball has committed to outreach efforts targeting at-risk youth and inner city communities which fit with our goals of improving the overall physical and emotional health of Edmontonians. We look forward to welcoming the coaching staff and players into our community.”

Canada Basketball’s President and CEO, Wayne Parrish said, “this is the culmination of tremendous work by a great many folks connected with the City of Edmonton; it could not have happened without their heart and dedication and, especially, the vision and leadership of Mayor Stephen Mandel.”

“Edmonton has an incredibly rich tradition of women’s basketball, and for our national team to embark on its Olympic quest inspired by the friendly ghosts of the Edmonton Grads of yesteryear is the crowning touch. We believe that this announcement marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the City of Edmonton and Canada Basketball, one that will flourish and grow deeper and broader in the months and years ahead,” Parrish added.

The city said the decision will strengthen ongoing efforts to build its reputation as a centre for excellence for sport development, while focusing on economic diversification and developing Edmonton on the global stage.

The city will allocate $500,000 in each of the next four years to grow the game and develop Edmonton as a basketball centre.

“Edmonton is committed to becoming a beacon for basketball, both nationally and globally, and this is an important step in us achieving that goal,” said Paul Sir, executive director with Basketball Alberta.

“We believe that the unique model and the partnership with the University of Alberta will be far reaching in its impact. It also presents an exciting opportunity to blend the talents and mentoring abilities of our nation’s elite athletes and coaches with the youth and leadership in our inner city communities to provide enriching experiences and to grow the sport.”

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