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Legacies and opportunities

Canada Games 2025 will leave a mark for years to come

By Memorial University

Two years from today, Canada Games 2025 will kick off in St. John’s.

The buzz of construction, excitement and planning has already begun and will continue long after the last diver dives and the last hurdler jumps.

“With only two years from the start of the 2025 Canada Games, we aim to take Newfoundlanders and Labradorians along this exhilarating journey, involving them every step of the way,” said Karen Sherriffs, CEO, 2025 Canada Games. “Through major partnership announcements, exciting youth-centred contests, volunteer recruitment drives and showcasing local athletes, the 2025 Canada Games will provide an inclusive opportunity for everyone to get involved.”

Canada Games is the largest multi-sport event in the country.

Memorial University is pleased to be a key player by serving as the athletes’ village, as participants will stay in residences and eat in the dining hall on campus; a venue for many of the sport competitions; host mission staff — the volunteers supporting athletes, coaches and managers; a polyclinic providing health and wellness supports; and social and entertainment zones during the games.

The importance of the Canada Games in the long-term development of Canadian athletes is evident in the number of household names who are Canada Games alumni.

Eugenie Bouchard, for instance, is the only Canadian woman to have reached the Wimbledon finals in tennis.

“In 2025 we’ll be welcoming the future names in Canadian athletics, right here on campus, and we look forward to being a part of it,” said Lisa Browne, vice-president of advancement and external relations for Memorial. “The St. John’s campus will be hosting these games during our institution’s 100th anniversary. There will be lots to celebrate.”

Athletic legacy

Two facilities originally built for the 1977 Canada Games will be renovated to meet top performance standards: the Aquarena and the Green Belt Tennis Club, a year-round tennis facility that is a two-minute walk from campus.

woman in red jesey being blocked from shooting basketball by woman in white jersey
Basketball (invented by a Canadian!) will be one of the sports happening on Memorial’s campus.

The Aquarena renovations will provide new diving boards and platforms; new pool bulkheads and clock for swimming competitions; new spectator seating; a new family changeroom; and structural, mechanical, electrical and lighting upgrades.

A new Fortis Canada Games Complex on Lambe’s Lane will provide a track and field facility, including a 400-metre, eight-lane track; a Fédération Internationale de Football Association-quality, pro-certified artificial soccer turf; and an indoor training facility, which will allow year-round opportunities for athletes.

The 2025 Canada Games promises top-quality entertainment for sports fans and will leave behind legacy facilities and the potential for young athletes to be recruited into professional sports: two baseball players from the 2022 Canada Summer Games were drafted into Major League Baseball.

Academic legacy

Funding will be available to support research, curriculum development and public engagement opportunities related to Canada Games.

Three men approaching a hurdle on a track and field
Canada Games offers academics a chance to study athletes who are exclusively youth, and high-performance players in peak development years.

For researchers, this event provides many unique scenarios for study, including a large population of high-performance athletes, elements of sports psychology or sports event marketing, competitions involving exclusively youth athletes or what an event of this magnitude can teach communities about sustainability or facilities management.

Additionally, instructors may opt to weave real-life examples from the Canada Games and its athletes into syllabi for courses focused on topics like nutrition, marketing or sociology.

And, of course, having 5,000 athletes from across the country on the St. John’s campus means significant student recruitment possibilities.

Volunteering opportunity

The 2025 Canada Games will give volunteers a unique opportunity to be part of something great and will generate a new base of volunteers with specific event training in St. John’s.

Volunteer opportunities will be made available through the host society at a later date, but any questions in the interim can be posed via email.

Future engagement

An internal steering committee has been established to ensure institutional co-ordination and to successfully deliver the breadth of responsibilities associated with being a key host and partner of the 2025 Canada Games.

Jordan Wright has been appointed Canada Games lead for Memorial. Alison Highsted is the project co-ordinator.

Faculty staff and students can expect more updates and opportunities to be provided in the fall.

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