The past three months have been busy for Project Leader Peter Lawrence and his team. Up to this point, initial presentations have been made to a number of communities, businesses, and government leaders defining and refining the facility’s role in the community. Along with selecting key individuals to join the project, the many hours of discussions have led the plans to begin to take shape. Along the way enthusiasm has grown and the project has begun to become more obvious. In March and April, a focused strategic plan has been adopted to move to the next level in communicating to a broader network of potential stakeholders, supporters, and strategic partners.
Marketing & Communication:
The Team Leaders of Marketing and Communications, have focused on working to create a brand identity (logo) and website. The website is in a draft format right now, and we are working on every aspect we can to produce a robust communications review for the complex. The marketing team is using Nick Forster from Ottawa, a past Senior WP Player with TITANS and a dedicated author, to help with some of the grammatical structure and consistency in messaging. The objective is to have the website up and running by the end of April. There is a growing sense of urgency because we need to provide an increased level of detail regarding who we are and what we are doing. The website is a vital resource to communicate with our stakeholder group.
Our objective is to raise $300,000 in the immediate months to cover the costs of the feasibility study, the business plan, the full architectural design and technical content for the facility to bring the project to the stage of the bidding process for construction to commence.
The potential prime sources for funding are as follows:
- Aquatic clubs and organizations.
- Political connections.
The Corona Virus:
The world will look different after it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic—politically, economically, and socially. This will have far-reaching consequences for investors in projects like the one we are developing. Exactly how is yet being debated. We realize from what money managers tell us, and from our own research, the indications are that trying to get a handle on what and how to fund could look different from the normal experiences. The fear of the unknown can only exacerbate these economic impacts. However, this project is enthusiastically seen by the canadian aquatic community as a high-level development. The energy and support that it is continually garnering will bode well for its ultimate success.
We do have a positive perspective on our future. Why?
Sport is known for the physical benefit it provides. In recent years, research has also found that sports participation can positively affect your mental health. In short: Sport improves your mood. It Is a fact that if you want a burst of happiness and relaxation, get involved in physical activity. Whether playing sports, working out at a gym or taking a brisk walk, physical activity triggers brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed. Sport also provides social benefits by allowing people to connect with teammates and friends in a recreational setting. All these physical and psychological aspects of the citizens of Ottawa require fully functioning facilities that will inspire them to new levels of physical literacy. (“Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.” – defined by Physical and Health Education Canada [PHE Canada]).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend sports participation as a healthy way to maintain weight, boost your self-confidence, improve sleep habits, reduce stress and depression and enhancing concentration keeping your key mental skills sharp as you age.
The benefits for young children reach beyond physical and psychological recovery from the pandemic. The NAqC will become a conduit to encourage a new generation to start participating at a young age, and there have been studies to indicate that participating in a team sport improves academic performance, leads to better educational outcomes, and results in more after school participation.
Falling behind schedule in fund-development will be difficult—but not impossible to catch up and succeed in building this complex. A century ago, the economic toll from the Spanish Flu was not particularly long-lasting – as devastating as it was. We are hopeful that the intrinsic value for building this complex will be understood and the latest planned delivery date of 2026 will be our reality.