OTTAWA (ISN) – Athletics Canada announced today that Edmonton has been awarded the right to host the 2015 Panamerican Junior Athletics Championships. Edmonton’s organizing committee is a partnership between the City of Edmonton, the University of Alberta, the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre and Athletics Alberta.
“I’m absolutely delighted Edmonton has been chosen to host this prestigious sporting event,” said Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. “Our city has a long history of sporting excellence and an outstanding track record of hosting international events. Edmonton’s world-class facilities, lively arts and cultural celebrations and dedicated volunteer base guarantee the 2015 Panamerican Junior Athletics Championships will be a superior event.”
The process began with letters of intent submitted from 12 Canadian communities. In February the field was narrowed to two, with Edmonton and Kamloops making their final pitches in Ottawa in conjunction with Athletics Canada’s 2012 Annual General Meeting.
“We are very excited to be hosting this event,” said Edmonton 2015 Chair Jerry Bouma. “Our plan and approach has always been to present the Pan Am Junior Athletics Championships as more than a three day track meet. It is our opportunity to feature Edmonton, our commitment to building the sport of athletics and to connect with our own Panamerican communities right here in Edmonton, in new and exciting ways.”
“The decision was not easy, the committee felt the bids were both very strong and that Edmonton and Kamloops would deliver the event in a first rate manner,” said Mathieu Gentès, Athletics Canada Director of PR & Corporate Services and Committee Chair. “The strength of Kamloops lies in its facilities, community support and excellent hosting reputation. Edmonton also presented a robust plan, including an impressive legacy component which will see athletics supported from playground to podium for years to come across Canada. Ultimately the committee felt Edmonton’s vision for the event will raise the bar for athletics competitions in Canada, this was a key factor.”
“We are honoured that Athletics Canada has selected Edmonton as the host of the 2015 Panamerican Junior Athletics Championships,” said Athletics Alberta President Tim Berrett. “Athletics Alberta views this event as a key strategic initiative that will help our association, in collaboration with several key partners, to continue its efforts to nurture the sport in the province, but also to contribute to the development of track and field athletics across Canada, throughout the hemisphere, and beyond. We look forward to hosting the best junior athletes from the Americas in 2015 and are confident that we will deliver both an outstanding event, and a lasting legacy for athletics.”
“The University of Alberta’s perspective is that this event provides a great opportunity to enhance or education and athlete development initiatives. In addition, the Panamerican Junior Athletics Championships bring so many young people from across the Pan American countries to our campus community which will be enriching for everyone” said Dr. Jim Denison, Director of the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre.
Recently the North America, Central America, and Caribbean (NACAC) commission awarded the 2014 Under 23 NACAC Championships to Athletics Canada. This provided a unique opportunity as both Edmonton and Kamloops served up great hosting plans. After careful deliberation by the selection committee, and speaking with other stakeholders, including Athletics Canada’s provincial branch members, the decision was made to award the NACAC U-23 event to the group from Kamloops.
Rob Guy, Chief Executive Officer, Athletics Canada, “We feel everybody came out a winner at the end of this process. Two world class organizations will be putting on world class track and field events in Canadian communities in 2014 and then again in 2015. The sport in Canada will be better for it.”
“The committee went to Ottawa looking for one event and came home with an exciting alternative. This is an event that will attract significant attention for Kamloops. For the NACAC athletes this event will be a stepping stone to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil,” said Bob Cowden, Chair of Kamloops’ organizing committee.
About the Panamerican Junior Athletics Championships
The Panamerican Junior Athletics Championships are held every two years, over three consecutive days, on a rotational basis between North America, South America and Central America for athletes aged 20 and under. The championships are held in accordance with the rules and regulations of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Association of Panamerican Athletics (APA). Canada last hosted this event in 2005 in Windsor, Ontario. The 2013 edition will be held in Peru.
About the NACAC under 23 Athletics Championships
The NACAC under-23 Athletics Championships are held every two years on a rotational basis between associations of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC). NACAC is one of the IAAF’s six area associations along with Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceana and South America. The last edition held in Canada was in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 2004. The 2012 NACAC under 23 Athletics Championships will be held in Guanajuato, Mexico July 6 – 8.