Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa Becomes Victoria's Exclusive Training Facility for Canada's Elite Triathletes

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Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa has become the exclusive training facility for some of Canada's best triathletes. Jim Pearson, Aviawest Resorts' CEO and a former elite triathlete, recently offered the Victoria Elite Long Course Athletes the use of Parkside's recently-opened 25-metre pool during the maintenance closures of other pools in the city.

Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa (http://www.parksidevictoria.com) has become the exclusive training facility for some of Canada's best triathletes.

Each year, Victoria's elite triathletes face a significant challenge when the fall closure of the city's Crystal and Commonwealth pool facilities is implemented.

While there are other vacant pools in Victoria, there are no lanes available for dedicated coached sessions. This is a critical time in the season for triathletes. With the fast approaching Ironman Kona Hawaii 2009 World Championship on October 10, it is imperative that these triathletes maintain their rigorous training schedules.

This year, Jim Pearson, Aviawest Resorts' (http://www.aviawest.com) CEO and a former elite triathlete, offered the Victoria Elite Long Course Athletes (VELCA) group the use of Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa's recently-opened 25-metre pool during the maintenance closures. VELCA accepted the offer without reservation.

Olympic triathlon champion Simon Whitfield, who has joined VELCA for recent swims at Parkside, has felt the pinch of having the two primary training facilities close at the same time over the years. "It's brilliant that there is now another pool available in the downtown core. These athletes need to maintain coached sessions at this time of the year."

Victoria Elite Long Course Athletes (VELCA) was formed in early 2009 when Jasper Blake and Mike Neill, two of Canada's most accomplished Ironman athletes, approached triathlon coach Clint Lien and discussed the need for a swim group dedicated to Long Course (half and full Ironman) excellence in Victoria, BC. Lane space in Victoria is difficult to come by, but when availability at Crystal pool became a reality, VELCA was founded with instant success.

VELCA's members include Jasper Blake, 2006 Ironman Canada champion; Sara Gross, current Canadian Long Course elite athlete of the year; Mike Neill, current Canadian Long Course elite athlete of the year; Ben Cotter, Canadian Ager Grouper of the year, racing his first year as a full-time pro; Kerry Spearing, a Canadian top 10 female Short Course athlete; Stephen Kilshaw, winner of Shawnigan Lake Half Ironman 2009; Lysanne Lavigne, two-time World Rowing U23 champion and current provincial Long Course age group champion; first-year pro Adam O'Meara and elite age grouper Allan Boos.

Says VELCA coach Clint Lien, "These are the finest long course athletes in Victoria - a city that is inarguably home to the majority of Canada's elite triathletes. Having the opportunity to maintain their program during the pool closures can mean precious minutes to these athletes when the gun goes off in Kona this October."

Aviawest has a long history of supporting local and national athletes. Aviawest is a proud sponsor of the Aviawest Cycling Society and Team Aviawest (http://www.teamaviawest.com/), a registered non-profit society dedicated to supporting and fostering the development of youth riders and racers. Many of the young cyclists Aviawest has sponsored have gone on to become provincial champions and compete both nationally and internationally.

Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa is Aviawest Resorts' newest addition to its portfolio of resort properties. As a completely sustainable resort hotel, Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa in the heart of downtown Victoria, BC, Canada, is leading Canada in innovative green resort hotel development and design by targeting LEED® Platinum Certification, the highest rating.

Media Contact:
Crystal Auffray
Communications Specialist
Aviawest Resorts Inc.
250.361.1999 (ext.8159)
crystal.auffray (at) aviawest (dot) com
http://www.aviawest.com

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Crystal Auffray
Aviawest Resorts
250-361-1999 ext. 8159
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