ANTIGONISH: The mayor is pleased with news of provincial funding for an upcoming national event.
On March 20, the Province of Nova Scotia announced $1 million in funding for seating improvements at StFX University’s Oland Centre to improve accessibility for the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games which are taking place in Antigonish.
Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher said the financial assistance will help replace the bleachers inside the Oland Centre, as well as the stands for the outdoor stadium, providing a seating area for 1,500 people.
“I think the Oland Centre was built in ‘66 so [the bleachers] have been in there since then,” she said, noting the upgrades mean both the town and the university will become more accessible. “Accessibility wasn’t on the radar then. We really appreciate the province’s donation to make this happen.”
Organizers are estimating the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games will bring about 4,000 participants to Antigonish and contribute $5 million to the local economy.
“This investment will have a positive impact on the games for both athletes and their families and reflect positively on the university, our organization and our province,” stated Michael Greek, president and CEO, Special Olympics Nova Scotia.
Antigonish MLA Randy Delorey stated the funding will provide for modern facilities which will also help the area host provincial and national events in the future.
“We want to create the best national games experience ever for the athletes and their families when they arrive in Antigonish,” Delorey added.
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