Edmonton — Canada’s senior women’s basketball team was officially welcomed to its new home and training base at Edmonton’s Saville Community Sports Centre today, enhancing the city as a centre of excellence for sport development and elite athletes.
“We are excited to welcome members of the Canadian national women’s basketball team to our great city,” says Mayor Stephen Mandel. “The team’s relocation helps solidify Edmonton as one of our country’s great sports cities and supports our ongoing efforts to build a strong, positive and attractive reputation for our city nationally and internationally.”
The team will train at the Saville Community Sports Centre on the University of Alberta’s south campus, a 32,516-square-metre multi-sport facility which includes 12 International Basketball Federation-size basketball courts.
“Edmonton’s rich tradition of women’s basketball, through the storied Edmonton Grads that won the first world women’s title in 1924, will be inspiration for our team,” says Wayne Parrish, President and CEO of Canada Basketball. “This is the beginning of a great relationship between Edmonton and Canada Basketball — one that will flourish and deepen in the years to come.”
Having the team based in Edmonton opens up opportunities to further develop interest in greater Edmonton and Alberta, and increase the game’s inclusivity, reaching out to inner-city children and at-risk youth.
City Council unanimously approved funding for the team’s relocation in May, affirming the City of Edmonton’s commitment to grow the game in the community and develop the city as a centre of excellence in basketball. This initiative, developed jointly by the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and Basketball Alberta, supports The Way We Prosper, the city’s economic development vision centred on economic diversification.