Volleyball Canada announced earlier this week that the Women's National Team Training Centre will be based in Richmond, British Columbia, beginning in January 2017.
The successful bid for the women's centre was submitted by a committee consisting of representatives of the Richmond Olympic Oval, Volleyball BC, and the Pacific Volleyball Society.
"I am excited to welcome the women's team to the City of Richmond. We have a world-class training facility in a vibrant city that will also serve the needs of the athletes off the court," said Tom Jones, co-chair of the bid committee and president of Volleyball BC. "Having the centre here is also a natural extension of the hard work already being done in the area of athlete development, and we're confident that we will provide an ideal environment for the team. This is a great opportunity to help athletes realize their long-term dreams."
The Oval is already home to a Volleyball Canada Centre of Excellence, which has helped train more than 50 athletes who have played for their province, post-secondary school, or the Junior National Team.
The process to bring the team to BC began nearly two years ago, and was supported by the local government.
"We are thrilled to welcome the women's national volleyball team to the City of Richmond and the Richmond Olympic Oval," said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. "The Oval is already a training centre for many Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and this will continue to build on its status as a world-class centre for high performance sport. We look forward to helping our volleyball team achieve success, while inspiring the many novice and developmental athletes in the Oval's highly successful volleyball programs to seek their own personal goals."
Training centre athletes will also have access to the expertise of the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and services through LifeMark Sport medicine, located at the Oval.
Volleyball Canada evaluated the bids for the centre on many criteria, including training facilities, technical and sport medicine support, and lifestyle factors.
"Congratulations to the bid committee and we look forward to a successful partnership with Richmond moving forward," said Debra Armstrong, president of Volleyball Canada. "It was a difficult decision for our committee, with several quality bids. Thank you to all the groups that expressed interest in the training centre, and most importantly I would like to acknowledge the years of service of countless supporters in Winnipeg, which served as the hub for the team for a quarter of a century."