Minden Wild Water Preserve to Host Pan Am Games Debut of Canoe/Kayak - Slalom

Canoe/kayak – slalom tickets available September 15; affordably priced from $20 to $35

MINDEN HILLS, ON, Aug. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - A newly upgraded Minden Wild Water Preserve — already considered one of the best natural whitewater courses in the world — will host the thrilling Pan Am Games debut of canoe/kayak – slalom on July 18–19, 2015.

The capital project for the Games was jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Township of Minden Hills and Whitewater Ontario. Located on the Gull River, the course has been attracting recreational and elite paddlers since the early 1970s.

Tickets for the Pan Am Games, including canoe/kayak – slalom, which range from $20 to $35, will be available to the public starting at 10 a.m. (ET) on Monday, September 15. For more information, including the Pan Am competition schedule and Ticketing Program Guide, visit TORONTO2015.org/tickets.

"The Minden Wild Water Preserve is well-known to Canadian and international paddlers as a fantastic, challenging course," said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015). "We've built on that reputation with upgrades that perfectly position the township to continue to attract the world's best paddlers and more high-profile events and athletes in this thrilling sport."

This adrenalin-pumping sport, which is not for the faint of heart, features athletes navigating a course of hanging gates on river rapids in the fastest time possible. It has been part of the Olympic sport schedule since the Barcelona 1992 Games.

This weekend, up to 70 top athletes from North America will have one of the first chances to run the upgraded course when the facility hosts the Minden Hills Open, an International Canoe Federation (ICF) ranking competition and official TO2015 test event on August 23–24.

"I'm very excited to see the Minden Hills Open showcase this newly upgraded world-class course," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "Our Government's investment will ensure that we have the very best venues in place for the Games next summer, and that this facility will continue to be an important training and competition centre for our Canadian paddlers for many years to come."

The upgrades at the Minden Wild Water Preserve were divided into two construction phases.

The first phase was completed in March 2014 and involved the installation of a new semi-permanent canoe/kayak gate system and other course features. The project was jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Township of Minden Hills and Whitewater Ontario.

The second phase, which will start in September 2014 and finish in early 2015, involves the renovation of the Preserve's existing clubhouse. The project is funded by the Government of Canada and Whitewater Ontario, which owns and operates the site and facility.

"Hosting world-class athletes at test events like the Minden Hills Open help to raise the profile of amateur sport in Ontario and highlight all that our communities have to offer to an international audience," said Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. "Welcoming the world to the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will provide an important opportunity to showcase our province as a premier international sport hosting destination."

In order for the paddlers to compete at their best, the Games will have satellite accommodation for the athletes at the Pinestone Resort. This accommodation is in addition to the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletes' Village in downtown Toronto.

"The Township of Minden Hills is honoured to be the canoe/kayak – slalom venue for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games," said Minden Hills Reeve Barb Reid. "Consistently rated the best natural whitewater course in North America, we are looking forward to hosting this event for what we are sure will be a uniquely Canadian experience for athletes, coaches and spectators."

About TO2015
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with managing and delivering the Games. It is working to bring some of the world's best athletes and artists to the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, giving Ontarians a unique chance to be part of the action, and making the region a hub for sport.

The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors.

The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15.

For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.

SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

For further information: Teddy Katz, Director, media relations and chief spokesperson, TO2015, 416.957.2117, teddy.katz@toronto2015.org

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Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

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