International multi-sport giant IMG Academies to open on Vancouver Island

    COURTENAY, BC, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - Vancouver Island will soon be home to a
professional sports academy run by international multi-sport giant IMG
Academies (IMGA). The new academy will be part of Sage Hills - a proposed
sustainable, mixed-use community on a 2,083-acre parcel in the Comox Valley.
    Ted Everett, Chairman of Sage Hills Developments, and Ted Meekma, IMGA
Director, signed the partnership agreement at a press conference this
    "We are excited to have IMG Academies on board and believe they are a
perfect fit with the Sage Hills vision," said Everett. "IMGA's world-renowned
programs are not only recognized for producing high-calibre professional
athletes but, more importantly, outstanding students and leaders."
    "The academy will help make Sage Hills and the Comox Valley an
international destination, and contribute to sports and education
opportunities for residents in the region," added Dave Russell, President of
Sage Hills Developments.
    Meekma said he was thrilled with the opportunity. "With Western Canada's
natural beauty, recreation and quality of life, the Comox Valley is a prime
location for the next IMG Academy," he said. "Our priority will be to offer
extensive programs for serious athletes and committed sports enthusiasts of
all ages and ability levels."
    IMGA is partnering with Sage Hills to assist in the master planning for
the academy, and to brand and manage it. The full-time, boarding sports
academy is planned to include facilities for hockey, skating, golf, tennis,
soccer, basketball, baseball and mountain sports. Two 18-hole championship
golf courses (including one for training) will cover approximately 350 acres.
The academy will also offer performance and coach training, as well as local
family and community programs.

    The Sage Hills community vision is built on integrating education, sports
and lifestyle themes, providing its residents with opportunities for
progressive, inspired living and learning. Complementing the sports academy
will be a University Canada West campus, research park and private K-12
School, a variety of family, student and seniors housing options, and a hotel
and corporate retreat centre. Master planning has now commenced and will
incorporate economic, social and environmental sustainability principles.

    IMG Academies is the world's largest and most successful multi-sport
training and education facility for junior, collegiate, adult/corporate and
professional athletes. On 300 acres in Bradenton, Florida, the IMG Academies
complex encompasses the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, the David Leadbetter
Golf Academy, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Swimming Academies, the
Professional Fishing Academy, IMG Academies International Performance
Institute, The Pendleton School, The Wellness Spa, IMG Academies Golf and
Country Club and Crested Butte Mountain Sports. Alumni of IMG Academies
include Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, Paula Creamer and Sean O'Hair.
    IMG is the world's premier sports, entertainment and media enterprise.
Operating in 30 countries, IMG's diverse businesses include: consulting
services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models
representation; licensing; golf course design; and client representation in
golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor
sports, coaching, Olympic sports and action sports. IMG clients include
golfers Mike Weir and Tiger Woods, tennis players Maria Sharapova and Roger
Federer, and figure skating champions Jamie Salé & David Pelletier.

    To participate in the news conference via conference call, scheduled for
2:30 p.m. PST in Courtenay. BC, please call 1.800.731.6941. To book telephone
interviews prior to the announcement please call Maggie Kerr-Southin at

For further information:

For further information: For backgrounders, bios and more information
please visit or contact: Canadian contact: Maggie
Kerr-Southin, Artemis PR & Design, Tel: (250) 595-0136, Fax: (250) 383-7723,; US contact: Priscilla Kuehnel, Marketing Coordinator,
IMG Academies, Tel: (941) 752-2604, Fax: (941) 752-2540,

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