Al Charron gives a speech inside the new Rugby Canada Training Centre at the grand opening of the facility. (Lindsey Horsting /News Gazette staff)

Rugby Canada’s new training centre is officially open in Langford

Al Charron thanked family and friends for the namesake honor at the ribbon cutting ceremony

Rugby Canada hosted the official grand opening of the Al Charron Training Centre in Langford Tuesday. The event took place inside the facility, amidst the squat racks and equipment. There were present and past national team players, coaches and staff in attendance.

Allen Vansen, Rugby Canada CEO, reminisced about the journey it’s been to get the training centre to completion. The plans for the training centre began five years ago, and 15 months ago they broke ground for construction.

“This centre represents the single largest investment of Rugby Canada in our pursuit of keeping our teams and players competitive on the international stage,” Vansen said.

Charron, the namesake and World Rugby Hall of Famer, gave a speech thanking his late parents, family, friends, national team, and his wife for the years of support. Charron is an Ottawa native and thanked the Ottawa Irish rugby club, where he started playing as a child, for giving him a love of the sport he played for so many years. He struggled to put into words how he felt about the training centre using his name. “There’s so many players that have come before me, guys that I played beside, that could have easily had their name on this building,” he said.

Langford Mayor Stew Young expressed appreciation for Rugby Canada bringing a national sport to a city like Langford, that wasn’t as big five years ago as it is today.

Young was presented with a new Canterbury Rugby Canada jersey.

The project finished under budget, which was surprising considering they couldn’t pour concrete for two months while it was raining, said Keith Gillam, Gillam Group chair and Ruby Canada’s project manager. He added with the help of many they were able to create a design that would suit the needs of the athletes exactly. The ribbon cutting included Young, Charron, Bill Webb, Kevin Reid, Rick Power, Vansen, and four Rugby Canada athletes.

The building was constructed by Verity Construction.

*This article has been updated from an earlier version. Verity Construction constructed the building and we apologies for this error. *

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