SUPPORTERS describes how interested sport stakeholders support the development and delivery of the National Aquatic Complex (NAqC). There is an overwhelming positivity that this facility is both appropriate and relevant to the community of Ottawa. Also, the feedback received from those supporters and stakeholders indicates a shortage of existing infrastructure to support the competitive and recreational needs of expanding the sports facility market in Ottawa. Letters-of-support, discussions, and meetings have indicated enthusiasm, perspective, and support for the development of the NAqC.
It is relevant and essential to remember that Cities thrive on the opportunities for work and play, and on the endless variety of available goods and services. This is especially true in defining the city’s landscape post-COVID 19.
National, Provincial, and Community sports organizations believe the availability and use of community sport infrastructure will enable physical activity and, by extension, supports health and wellness in our communities. It will provide a space for people of different walks of life to connect around common objectives, it will support employment and the economy, and will be a critical requirement for making Ottawa an even more livable city.
What is less understood, or at least less discussed, is the role and place of sports infrastructure and more specifically, community sport infrastructure. Yet, without the appropriate infrastructure and facilities to support sport and physical activities, many of the associated benefits aspired by the National Sports Organisations (NSO), Provincial Sports Organisations (PSO), and Clubs would be left unrealized. Further, those at the grassroots level understand that community sport infrastructure can be much more than just a place to play sport and that such facilities are critical infrastructure for the broader community.
Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) provides a general framework for athlete development. LTAD describes a series of sequential stages for learning, training, and competition, based on the maturation or development of an individual rather than chronological age. Canada in general, but Ottawa specifically requires infrastructure to develop and improve the capacity of our athletes and coaches to support the Canadian sports initiatives.
Political Support at the Federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers of Sport endorsed the Canadian Sport for Life concept in 2004 and are working towards implementing the principles of long term athlete development (LTAD) within their jurisdictions.
Sport Canada has embedded LTAD in the Sports Development Framework and its policies and programs. As discussions continue, a growing number of political supporters, both administrative and representative, have joined the ranks of support of both renovations and construction for sports infrastructure.
While Sport Canada is committed to the development of our high-performance athletes through programs like The Athlete Assistance Program; Ethics in Sport; High-performance support and Coaching support. Today, as we have mentioned, there is a growth in support for improving existing infrastructure and building new state-of-the-art facilities that are consistent with being known as a sporting nation.
The NAqC will be a facility positioned to provide essential improvements in the country’s capacity to develop and train athletes as well as host both domestic and international events like only a few cities in Canada can.
Corporate ‘champions’ offer the third level of support and will expand in numbers as the project evolves and grows. Interest in marketing, sponsorship, brand association and event management programs and activities will emerge with time as the vision becomes more of a reality.
In the earliest stages of the planning and development, there will be sponsors who will see the value in all communication/marketing outlets including email, website, physical ads, facility site signage throughout the construction to opening stages, and for an agreed-upon contract lasting years. Having naming-rights, access to all media releases, events, and communications an early sponsor can benefit from an extended brand association with the NAqC. While supporting a popular and socially conscious cause may be mutually beneficial to sponsor and sponsee, corporate sponsorship in this category cannot be looked at as a donation; it is a business deal.
Corporate sponsors often characterize their sponsorship activities and their benefits as “doing well by doing good.”
Corporate sponsorships are a tool used to form a brand identity, image, and association via increased visibility over an extended time frame when the complex is changing and evolving into the premier aquatic’s facility in Canada.
Traditionally, most corporate partners arrive at later stages of development. With them, we will begin to see the ‘wow’ factors (programs, services, and accessibility) of the development start to emerge as critical messages that will excite and motivate the citizenry of the Greater Ottawa Area and potential visitors from Canada and beyond!
Other corporate sponsorship examples involve promoting product sales that benefit a cause, campaigns that seek donations at the point of purchase (purchase plus), licensing involving logos that send a portion of sales to a charity, cobranded events or programs, and social or public service marketing programs that encourage their internal and external stakeholder support for the development of the NAqC.
The NAqC Corporate Champions will expect to see their logos on signage and event merchandise, such as t-shirts, cups, banners, web and print advertising, in social media and email marketing, invites, and more. They will also expect to be mentioned frequently in public communications, as well as have the opportunity to see the facilities as they develop, meet, and attend any events as VIPs. We recognize the enormous responsibility in attracting corporations who wish to treat this association and expect a return-on-marketing investment.
In Canada, grassroots programs and elite competitive diving is regulated by Diving Plongeon Canada (DPC).
Diving is one of the most popular Olympic sports and one of the first to be sold out at the Olympic Games. This sport is classified as an art as well as a sport because of the aesthetic beauty of the performance of the dives. It requires strength and power as well as flexibility and the diver must be graceful and have a good, kinesthetic awareness.
The lower levels are regulated by individual Provincial associations that are members of DPC. The main competitive season runs from February to September, although some competitions may be held as early as December or January. Many divers (particularly international level athletes) will train and compete year-round.
Most provincial level competitions consist of events for six age groups, and Open (Senior) for both genders on each of the three board levels (1 meter, 3 meters, and platform). These age groups correspond to those standardized by FINA. Most provinces will add an age group to accommodate younger age group divers (under 9 years).
Adult divers who are not competitive at an elite level may compete in masters diving. Typically, masters are either adults who never practiced the sport as children or teenagers or former elite athletes who have retired but still seek a way to be involved in the sport. Many diving clubs have Masters teams in addition to their primary competitive ones. While some masters dive only for fun and fitness, there are also Masters Competitions, which range from the local to world championship level.
The swimming federation in Canada comprises 75,000 members and 400 swim clubs.
Competitive swimming is a mixed sport with female and male events. Major events like the Olympic and Paralympic swimming competitions are held in a 50-meter pool, called a long-course pool.
Club swimming is open to all ages of athletes. The NAqC will be supporting development swimmers to experience the joy of competitive swimming in an inclusive and empowering environment. Domestic and international swimmers will be hosted by the NAqC for various competitions, attracting spectators to watch the best, do their best!
Masters Swimming began with fitness and competitive swimming programs for adults. There are over 250 Masters clubs, becoming one of Canada’s largest adult fitness populations. The NAqC will facilitate Masters Swimming, which supports and encourages adult swimmers of all abilities while promoting its organizational values: fun, friendship, health, wellness, participation, and achievement.
Para-swimming is an integrated sport for persons with a disability from grassroots to the Paralympic level. National team athletes compete at major events, including a World Championships, and the Paralympic Games that run parallel to the Olympics. Swimming is one of the most popular para-sports; being practiced in close to 100 countries around the globe. The sport combines a broad range of impairments into three categories.
- Cerebral Palsy/Acquired Brain Injury;
- Spinal Cord Injury/Polio/Dwarfism
- Others (Major joint restrictions, coordination restrictions, limb paralysis/weakness)
- Other visual impairments
- Athletes with challenges with pattern recognition, sequencing, and memory, or having a slower reaction time. Difficulties impact on general sports performance in training and competition. There are two options for athletes with intellectual impairments, athletes can pick between the para-sport or Special Olympic streams. The Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual impairments through sports. The Paralympic mission is to enable athletes with impairments to achieve sporting excellence.
Canada Artistic Swimming
Canada Artistic Swimming (CAS) regulates the sport from the grassroots programs (Aqua Go) through to the elite national Junior and Senior teams who compete internationally.
Artistic Swimming (often abbreviated to Synchro), is a hybrid form of swimming, dance and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers (either solo, duet, combo, or team) performing a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. Artistic swimming demands advanced water skills and require exceptional strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control.
Competitors show off their strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance required to perform complicated routines. This sport is performed in a pool of a certain depth (no deeper than 2.0m) and because of this, the NAqC will have an adjustable floor in both 50M pools and the dive tank.
Water Polo Canada
Water Polo Canada regulates the sport and is proud to claim the title as the oldest team sport at the Olympics.
Water polo is a team water sport. The playing team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The winner of the game is the team that scores the most goals. Gameplay involves swimming, treading water (using a kicking motion known as “eggbeater kick”), players passing the ball while being defended by opponents, and scoring by throwing the ball into a net defended by a goalie. ‘Man-up’ (or ‘power play’) situations occur frequently. Water polo, therefore, has strong similarities to the land-based sport of handball, hockey, football, and soccer. Ottawa has the largest Water Polo club in Canada called the Titans.