Bubbling over white water in Minden 0
The 2015 Pan Am Games may be three years away, but excitement is already bubbling at the Minden Wild Water Preserve.
A delegation from Whitewater Ontario visited Minden Hills councillors at their Feb. 9 committee-of-the-whole meeting.
The preserve is the site of whitewater events for the games and Whitewater Ontario will be partnering with the township on the endeavour.
"We're very excited about the project," said Whitewater Ontario president Jim Taylor, adding it would have a lasting impact on the township.
Last month, the township signed a joinder agreement with the Pan Am Games, offering up to $100,000 for upgrades at the site.
For every $44 the township spends, Pan Am will spend at least $56.
Also present was James Cartwright, a three-time Olympian and high-performance manager of Canoe/Kayak Canada.
Cartwright said he was first introduced to the preserve though television as a teenager, watching an international competition that had been hosted there.
"That was like my Hockey Night in Canada," he said, adding his dream had been to compete at the Minden rapids, which he did, in 1997.
He returned to preserve last year as coach with the provincial team.
"It truly is a world-class facility," he said.
Claudia Van Wijk of Whitewater Ontario said the organization would be working to increase interest in whitewater sports locally.
"We want to work together not only for the Pan Am Games, but to really grow the sport here," she told councillors. "Locally there's a void. We don't have a club, we don't have a presence."
Van Wijk said she'd be working to change this, "so that from the bottom up, we have future James Cartwrights coming from this area."