The University of Toronto will soon be home to the only research-intensive centre for sport excellence in Ontario, thanks to a significant investment by the Ontario government.
The government announced that it will invest $22.5 million in the $58-million Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, a multi-storey complex that will be the first of its kind in Ontario. U of T continues its fundraising efforts for the centre, which to date have received support from several key donors including an $11 million gift from the Goldring family.
“This investment by the Ontario government will enhance educational opportunities for hundreds of our students and improve the student experience for thousands more,” said U of T President David Naylor. “The Goldring Centre will also bring together scientists, graduate students, sports medicine specialists and trainees, athletes and coaches. As such, it will support our efforts to integrate research, education and practice, and help Canada ‘own the podium’ in the decades ahead.”
With its emphasis on interdisciplinary, collaborative research, the Goldring Centre represents an inspired vision of the future of teaching, research and the student experience. The multi-storey facility, to be located at Bloor and Devonshire, will encompass:
- teaching and research labs
- a 2,000-seat internationally-certified field house for basketball and volleyball
- expanded facilities for the U of T Sports Medicine Clinic
- a strength and conditioning centre
Undergraduate and graduate teaching will benefit from the new facilities, while scientists, physicians and therapists working with athletes, coaches and industry specialists will develop new approaches for high performance sport in both training and treatment. The results – enhanced sports science and sports medicine – will have benefits that reach far beyond top athletes.
“High performance sport is an important part of the physical activity spectrum, and we need to understand that entire spectrum in order to reap benefits for all Canadians,” said Professor Ira Jacobs, dean of the Faculty of Physical Education & Health. “Understanding healthy high performance sport can provide a key reference point to more fully understand the impact of physical activity and inactivity for human physical, mental and emotional health. This centre will be a tremendously exciting resource which will contribute to the development of the next generation of sport role models who will inspire and encourage Ontarians to lead healthier lives.”
The Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport will also bolster the infrastructure of sport science and the profile of the sports, fitness and recreation industry in Ontario. It will provide a unique venue for hosting academic symposia, training camps, and conferences for coaching and leadership development, while allowing the university to build on its outreach programs, including community memberships, programs for at-risk youth, and family and children’s programs.
Home to the single largest pool of competitive and amateur athletes in Canada, University of Toronto programs support more than 10,000 intramural athletes and nearly 1,000 intercollegiate athletes competing on 44 teams. These co-curricular programs not only build a healthy student body, but create a kind of living laboratory and unparalleled opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration.
“Our research platform – in which student athletes are also participants – cuts across athletic development, sports medicine and discovery in areas ranging from healthy ways of extending human athletic performance to the psychology of athlete-coach interaction,” Jacobs said. “This facility will help to propel U of T towards excellence and innovation in sports science research.”
Construction of the Goldring Centre is tentatively scheduled to begin next spring, with completion forecast for the summer of 2014.