Burnaby approves renaming community centre after Christine Sinclair

Jun 2 2021, 8:30 pm

One of Canada’s all-time greatest athletes is getting a community centre named after her.

Burnaby City Council has approved the renaming of the facility formerly known as the Fortius Sport & Health complex on 3713 Kensington Avenue. The facility will be renamed the “Christine Sinclair Community Centre,” honouring the legendary soccer player and Burnaby native.

The decision was announced at a city council meeting this week.

Sinclair is the greatest female soccer player Canada has ever produced, and broke the global record for all-time international goals scored on January 29, 2020.

“Opportunities to recognize Christine Sinclair’s many achievements in sport have been considered for some time, and they believe this facility meets that criteria,” council noted.

“This dedication honours a Burnaby resident who has made tremendous contributions to Burnaby.”

Apart from her many sporting achievements, council also mentioned Sinclair’s off-field accolades, including being one of “Canada’s most public figures” in the campaign to end Multiple Sclerosis. Sinclair has also recently helped out the Canadian Women’s Foundation to help raise funds and awareness for girls impacted by the pandemic.

Fortius was built and operated for elite athlete training, but in November its operator announced that it would have to permanently close by the end of 2020 due to its financial situation caused by the pandemic. In December, the facility was purchased by the City of Burnaby, which announced plans to turn it into a community centre.

The 146,000 sq. ft. facility on the 5.16-acre property was completed in 2013 at a cost of $61 million. It included a sports medicine clinic, fitness and performance centre, human performance lab, NBA standard double gymnasium, offices, a 50-room hotel, and food service.

One of the largest facilities of its kind in Canada, Fortius was an all-inclusive training hub for amateur and elite professional athletes, including Olympians, and hosted Toronto Raptors training camps on multiple occasions. The new programming approach appears to be more community-focused and less oriented around elite athletes.

With files from Kenneth Chan

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