April Feature Article
Former Canada captain and World Rugby Hall of Famer, Al ‘Blade’ Charron, is a 51-year-old Ottawa native who won 76 caps for Canada, a national record that stood for 14 years until June 2017. Charron played in four Rugby World Cups and was a trailblazer for Canadian rugby, playing overseas for Bristol and Moseley in England and Dax in France. Charron was a physical presence, a six-foot-five, 255-pound man known for making crunching tackles on defence and rampaging through opposition forwards on offence. It was a style of play that took its toll on everyone concerned!
Approximately 1,900-square-metre, two-storey Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre will serve as the home to all of Rugby Canada’s national teams, as well support the training needs of other high performance amateur athletes in the region. It’s a world-class facility right here in the West Shore.
“From the installation of a World Rugby certified turf, to the construction of this high-performance training facility, to the pending 8,000 seat expansion of Westhills Stadium, Langford is committed to working with all levels of government and the development community to ensure that high-performance athletes have the resources they need to train right here in Langford,” says His Worship Stewart Young, Mayor of Langford.
The Centre centralizes team operations to create the necessary infrastructure to keep its teams competitive in international competitions. It has been designed to create the best daily training environment possible, centralizing all the necessary aspects of high performance training.
The amenities include a state of the art gymnasium featuring elite strength and conditioning equipment, onsite therapy and treatment rooms, hydrotherapy pools, locker rooms, meeting rooms set up for video analysis, kitchen and dining lounge, and three double occupancy bedroom studio units.
The Centre is located adjacent to Westhills Stadium, further complementing the enhanced resources available to Rugby Canada’s national teams. To build on the legacy of rugby in Canada, the facility will also feature the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame and Museum.
The Centre is now in active use by all of Rugby Canada’s national teams (i.e., Rugby 7s Senior Men, Rugby 7s Senior Women, Rugby 15s Senior Men, Rugby 15s Senior Women) as they continue preparations for their upcoming international competitions.
“It’s these strong partnerships that are creating an exciting future for the sport of rugby in Canada where our high-performance athletes of today and tomorrow, will have the resources and the facilities they need to achieve unprecedented success on the world stage.”
– Allen Vansen, Rugby Canada
Chief Executive Officer