This is the 50th anniversary of the Games and it coincides with the year Canada celebrates its 150th birthday.
Although Brandon has hosted the games before, this will be a first for our city. We will be officially co-hosting along with First Nations Treaties 1 & 3, and the Manitoba Metis Federation, as their traditional lands and waters are serving as venues.
And although we are the host city, Gimli and Kenora will see action too with sailing and rowing events being held in their communities.
There will be 250 events in 19 different sports taking place at 23 different venues between July 28 – Aug 13, 2017. More than 4,000 athletes will compete in sporting events that will be viewed by an anticipated 20,000 visitors.
Past games have produced outstanding athletes such as Hayley Wickenheiser, Lennox Lewis and our own Cindy Klassen.
In my neighbourhood one of the venues will be the Pan-Am Pool for swimming and diving competitions.
This world class Olympic size facility was built for the first Pan-Am Games held here in 1967 and consists of two competitive pools in addition to a kiddies pool.
The main pool has a moveable bulkhead that can be set for either 25m or 50m distances, typically referred to as either short or long courses. It also separates the diving pool from the swimming area. The average water temperature is 28C with the training pool a little cooler at 26C.
The diving pool is 4.9 m deep and has four springboards, two at 1m and two at 3m and a diving tower with platforms at 3m, 5m, 7.5m and 10m.
The diving events are scheduled for the first week of the Games whilst the swimming events will be on the second week.
Our Manitoba swim team will be at a staging camp in North Dakota for three days prior to the start of their competitions and will move into the athletes village on Aug. 5.
The swimming competitions go from Aug. 7–12 with the shorter heats being held in the mornings.
Pan-Am Pool complex was closed for two months last year to allow renovations in preparation for the Games including replacing the bulkhead and timing equipment, improving the diving tower and adding a dry land training room for the divers.
Canada Games contributed $500,000 towards the work and will be providing an additional $170,000 to the pool prior to the start of the Games.
There’s an indoor running track and full gym facilities with free weights and exercise machines, all available to the general public when not restricted for Summer Games athletes.
Pan-Am is home to many local swimming clubs including the Manta Swim Club, the Manitoba Marlins and the Masters Aquatic Club. Two water polo teams, Bushido and the Neptunes also play there and the pool bulkhead can be set to either 15m or 30m for their competitions.
It’s located at 25 Poseidon Ba y — what a great address for a great swimming facility.