Row Ontario Names Welland Site Of Performance Centre, Amanda Schweinbenz Tabbed As Head Coach

WELLAND – The new Ontario Performance Centre officially has a home as Row Ontario announced on Friday that the City of Welland submitted a winning bid to become the host.

The City of Welland (Welland) will become the home of all Row Ontario proprietary events, as well as the Ontario Performance Centre, which includes the new Ontario Academy of Rowing. Welland provides a world class training and hosting environment for the Ontario rowing community and has all the facilities and benefits Row Ontario was looking for in a host.

“We are extremely excited to announce our partnership with the City of Welland to host the Ontario Performance Centre,” said Andrew Backer, Executive Director of Row Ontario. “Welland’s bid had everything we were looking for and the community has a strong history of high performance rowing. We truly feel that Welland is the ideal location for the Ontario Performance Centre to allow our academy athletes to train and all regatta participants to compete. We’re looking forward to a successful partnership and for all the progress we make together to benefit the Ontario rowing community in the years to come.”

Welland boasts one of the most impressive rowing facilities in the country, and is capable of hosting multiple flatwater disciplines, including major international events as well as local and regional events. The premiere sport venue consists of two courses, the 1000m North Course and the 2000m South Course, which are both located on the old Welland Shipping Canal on a placid and pristine waterway for training and competition. Nearby accommodation options make it easy for travelling competitors to be housed close to the venue, and both courses are equipped with an international standard Albano Buoy System, marked according to FISA standards.

The City of Welland and Welland International Flatwater Centre are honoured to have been selected by Row Ontario to be the home of the Ontario Performance Centre.

Erin Carl, WIFC Development Officer

In housing the Ontario Performance Centre, Welland will be home to the Ontario Academy of Rowing which will provide programming for several groups of athletes at different stages of their development. Ontario provincial team, NextGen, and identified development athletes will have the option to train at the centre on either a centralized or regional basis. All athletes will have access to full-time professional coaching among myriad other benefits.

Welland will provide the centralized athletes with an optimal daily training environment in a world class training centre. The athletes will be based out of the Welland Community Boathouse, which is located on a seven-kilometre stretch of pristine water and will have access to world class off-water training facilities. Welland was previously the host of the National Development Centre of Ontario, a former Ontario training centre, and the experience and knowledge gained in those years will help ensure a smooth launch of the Ontario Performance Centre.

“The City of Welland and Welland International Flatwater Centre are honoured to have been selected by Row Ontario to be the home of the Ontario Performance Centre,” said Erin Carl, WIFC Development Officer for the City of Welland. “This is a great opportunity for our city and the local flatwater community. We are looking forward to continuing our ongoing partnership with Row Ontario and welcoming the athletes of the Ontario Academy of Rowing and regatta participants to Welland.”

Amanda Schweinbenz

In addition to the much-anticipated announcement of the location of the Centre, Row Ontario also announced on Friday that Dr. Amanda Schweinbenz has been chosen to lead the Ontario Performance Centre. Schweinbenz, who was named the head coach of Team Ontario’s rowing squad for the 2021 Canada Summer Games team in February, has a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the Ontario high performance rowing system after years of coaching in a variety of roles.

I am very pleased to announce that Amanda has accepted a promotion in the form of this role. She is ideally suited for this position and I am very excited to see her lead our daily training environment at the Ontario Performance Centre,” said Chris Marshall, Manager, High Performance with Row Ontario. “We received applications for this position from a significant number of qualified and competent coaches, many of whom were capable of filling this role. Amanda’s mixture of knowledge, high performance experience and history of building strong programs provided us with an exceptional candidate. Announcing Amanda as our coach represents the real kick off to the Ontario Performance Centre and the Ontario Academy of Rowing and I am excited to see what Amanda and our best athletes can accomplish given this unique training and development opportunity.”

Schweinbenz, who hails from Sudbury, was the founder of the Laurentian Voyageurs rowing team and has served as head coach since 2006, winning the OUA women’s coach of the year award in 2011. She has also been head coach of the Sudbury Rowing Club since 2011 and has worked with both Row Ontario and Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) in a number of different coaching roles.

At the provincial level, she was most recently lead coach of Row Ontario’s U17 and U19 men’s rowing teams in 2019. She has been a mentor coach with the Row Ontario Remote Coach Network since 2017 and also coached with the Row Ontario Row to Podium Satellite Centre from 2014-17. Her national experience includes a stint as coach with RCA’s under-23 lightweight men’s double sculls world championship team in 2017 and she led the LTA Mix4+ team to a bronze medal at the 2015 World Rowing Championships. She also coached with the LM4-, M2-, and M2x teams at the 2015 FISU World University Games.

Schweinbenz is thrilled to be chosen as head coach of the Ontario Performance Centre and being involved in the next evolution of high performance rowing in Ontario.

“I am thrilled to be working with Row Ontario on this new initiative,” said Schweinbenz. “The Ontario Academy of Rowing creates opportunities for young, developing athletes to focus on efforts on the skills needed to pursue high performance rowing, including the Canada Summer Games and Canadian National Teams. There is strong evidence from around the world that training in 1xs at a young age and during development stages is an important initial step to high performance racing. Combine this with a highly qualified integrated sports team of bio mechanists, nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, exercise physiologists and sport psychologists and these young athletes will be poised for the future. The previous provincial training centre was integral in the development of incredible athletes like Carling Zeeman, Tim Schriver and Jill Moffatt and we are looking to provide similar opportunities for Ontario athletes through the Ontario Academy of Rowing.”

The Ontario Performance Centre is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2020, with the start date tentative depending on the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on programming and how athletes can become a member of the Centre will be made available in the coming months. Row Ontario would like to thank the other applicants for hosting the Ontario Performance Centre and the Head Coach position for their time and effort in submitting their bids and applications.

Note: In prior news releases and promotional material, the Ontario Performance Centre was referred to as the Provincial Training Centre or Provincial Rowing Centre. In the last several weeks, a decision was made to change the name to the Ontario Performance Centre in order to capture all activities encompassed within the Centre. Please note this is the same project and all previous information distributed remains relevant.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Chambers’ Corner Revisited

Welcome to Welland! (Photo by Bob Chambers, June 1969)

By Bob Chambers

This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of this blog, where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, will present some of his photographs from that era …… Readers are asked to please comment!

A couple of weeks ago, Chambers’ Corner featured a photograph of a girl in a mini dress but its main subject was actually business ….. the thriving business of shopping in downtown Welland in 1969.

Here we are again in 1969. My picture from the Welland Tribune of June 17. It definitely shows business. But, Welland looks a bit tacky ….. with a rusty welcome sign erected by the Chamber of Commerce, and in the background the unwelcome sight of Union Carbide’s belching stacks.

There’s a strong connection to the previous picture, with the C of C address being 55 Main Street East, which was near the location of the Park Theatre in that image. Both were in the city’s downtown.

But this one is all about business. The hierarchy of who is who in business is shown by the placement of the clubs ….. Rotary and Lions, just below the C of C, and above all the rest. Including two clubs that are completely unknowable, their signs unreadable. But, the most popular place to meet, as you can tell, was the Barclay Hotel, at the corner of King Street and Division Street.

So, visitors are Welcome to Welland in 1969. As long as they don’t mind a less than glamorous “Welcome” on the main route into town from the south.

– Bob Chambers, Tribune photographer 1957 -1970.

Comments are invited and appreciated by the photographer. You can comment directly on the site.

Editor’s note: Chambers’ Corner appeared on the blog a few years ago as a recurring feature, this submission in August, 2015. It is presented here unchanged. The series has been rebranded Chambers’ Corner Revisited and is appearing at the request of readers. It appears on the blog Wednesdays.

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‘Soft-Opening’ On Saturday For Welland Farmers’ Market

WELLAND – The City of Welland is looking forward to bringing the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market back to shoppers beginning July 11.

The Welland Farmers’ Market, located at Market Square, 70 Young St., Welland, was closed on March 13, 2020, due to COVID-19 and emergency orders under the Government of Ontario. Now that Niagara is currently operating in stage-two of the three-phased Framework to Re-open the Province, The Welland Farmers’ Market is preparing a soft-opening to bring shoppers back to the 113-year-old Saturday morning tradition. 

Managed with strict protocols to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Welland Farmers’ Market will initially offer a small group of vendors this Saturday and grow accordingly throughout the summer.

Vendors will sell between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. at designated stalls, located in the courtyard between the Market Square buildings. Patrons will enter on the east side of the market. City staff will be present to monitor and manage the number of customers entering the market. Staff will encourage people to wear face coverings for public safety measures and will offer hand sanitizer. 

“We’re happy to bring the market back to residents,” said Richard Dalton, Manager of Recreation and Culture. “The Saturday morning market is a tradition that has brought fresh food to our tables for many generations.”

 The Welland Farmers’ Market is a community space that encourages patrons to support a buy local philosophy and experience multiculturalism. The Welland Farmers’ Market Committee strives to raise community awareness about the benefits of eating healthy and the importance of supporting a sustainable agricultural community. 

For more information on the Welland Farmers’ Market, visit welland.ca. 

(Source: City of Welland news release)

fromareportersnotebook.wordpress.com

Chambers’ Corner Revisited

/Photo Bob Chambers

By Bob Chambers
This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of this blog, where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, will present some of his photographs from that era ……

These scenes are not about making “A Reporters Notebook” more sensual, but have a much more historically interesting, message.

At first glance it’s just a fine summer day in August 1969, and the Park Theatre marquee on East Main Street has a message referring to a film it was showing. I’ve included two shots, the top one for quality sake and the other one, poorer technical quality (it was the photo we sent out to Canadian Press that day) but the better image.

Note the guy in the middle distance doing a real look-around. He’s not posed, but the foreground guy, and the girl, both found downtown, were directed by me and several shots were taken. I could write words about how things could get sensual in the balcony of the Park and about the fashions of the day …… 1969 was certainly around the high-water mark of mini-skirt hemlines and note the guys were more flamboyant too. I don’t recall anyone’s name or the name of the film.

But, the real story in these shots is the downtown sidewalk crowd of shoppers on a normal weekday afternoon. It was not taken on a Saturday; probably on a Thursday or Friday for use in Saturday’s Tribune, and not taken specifically to show a crowd, but just a normal day downtown.

As for how I happened to take note of the marquee ….. we drivers all had more time to look at things in 1969, or maybe even time to run in to the Olympia to pick up a sandwich …. while waiting for the bridge. That was Welland before the change of shopping habits that occurred in most cities before the shoppers went to the mall.

– Bob Chambers, Tribune photographer 1957 -1970.

Comments are invited and appreciated by the photographer. You can comment directly on the site.

Editor’s note: Chambers’ Corner appeared on the blog a few years ago as a recurring feature, this submission in July, 2015. It is presented here unchanged. The series has been rebranded Chambers’ Corner Revisited and is appearing at the request of readers. It appears on the blog Wednesdays.


fromareportersnotebook.wordpress.com

Camillo Cipriano, Halton Catholic Board Superintendent, Named New Director Of Education For Niagara Catholic

WELLAND – The Niagara Catholic Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Camillo Cipriano has been selected as Niagara Catholic’s next Director of Education, effective Tuesday, September 1, 2020. 

The appointment follows a comprehensive search that attracted strong candidates from across Ontario led by the Board of Trustees and executive search firm Promeus. Mr. Cipriano was endorsed by Niagara Catholic’s Board of Trustees during a special in-camera meeting of the Board on Friday, June 26, 2020. Mr. Cipriano comes to Niagara Catholic with 23 years of leadership and experience as a teacher and administrator in Catholic education. 

Camillo Cipriano succeeds John Crocco. (Supplied photo)

He most recently held the position of Superintendent of Education with the Halton Catholic District School Board. Mr. Cipriano has extensive knowledge about Ontario’s education system, with a particular focus on student mental health. 

“Mr. Cipriano is widely respected throughout Ontario’s education community for his commitment to leadership and innovation in Ontario schools,” said Frank Fera, Chair of Niagara Catholic’s Board of Trustees. “The Executive Search Committee was extremely impressed with Mr. Cipriano’s commitment to Catholic education. Mr. Cipriano is regarded for his innovative approach to education, which is crucial as we continue to navigate through the challenges and opportunities presented by distance learning due to COVID-19, and welcoming new members to our senior team. The Board of Trustees looks forward to working with Mr. Cipriano, as we continue to build upon Niagara Catholic’s strong foundation of excellence in Catholic education in the future. 

“I would like to thank outgoing Director of Education John Crocco for his years of service to Catholic education in Niagara. His strong leadership, along with the dedication and commitment of all staff across Niagara Catholic, has positioned the Board to continue the excellence in Catholic education our students and families expect and deserve.” 

Mr. Cipriano holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University, and attended Teacher’s College at the University of Windsor. He also holds a Masters’ Degree in Educational Leadership from Niagara University.

 “I am honoured and humbled by the opportunity to serve the students, parents, staff and our parish partners in the entire Niagara Region,” said Mr. Cipriano. “I am excited at the opportunity to work with our strong senior team and dedicated Board of Trustees, in continuing to support the students of Niagara Catholic in their academic success, faith formation and mental health. I have been working closely with Director Crocco in the transition of leadership, and am committed to building upon the many successes under his leadership. I am also looking forward to getting to know the principals, teachers and support staff across Niagara Catholic, in whatever way that may be in September.” 

Niagara Catholic provides excellence in Catholic education to approximately 21,000 students throughout Niagara; from Kindergarten through graduation.

(Source: Niagara Catholic media release.)

Distinguished Service Award To President Dan Patterson

College president Dan Patterson./Niagara College photo

OTTAWA (June 29) – Niagara College President Dan Patterson was honoured by his peers of the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Presidents’ Leadership Network who named him as the 2020 recipient of its Distinguished Service Award. He is recognized not only for his leadership at Niagara College, but for his outstanding contribution to Canada’s post-secondary system as a whole, throughout his distinguished career.

Dan Patterson has been Niagara College’s president since 1995 and announced his retirement earlier this year. Over his 25-year tenure as president, he has overseen a dramatic transformation of Niagara College. Enrolment has almost tripled – from 4,500 to 13,000 full time students who come from more than 90 countries.

He has also provided national leadership for the entire college sector, sitting on the CICan Board of Directors since 2014, as well as on several other committees promoting education, economic growth and innovation in the Niagara region and beyond. He has helped support many of his peers as faculty and a mentor through CICan’s Leadership Institutes.

“As one of our longest sitting presidents, Dan Patterson has left an indelible mark on Niagara College, but also on the entire network of Canadian colleges and institutes”, noted CICan President and CEO, Denise Amyot. “Under his leadership, Niagara College has grown into a vibrant institution that has both strong local and national impacts. He has had an extraordinary career, but he stood out for his contagious enthusiasm and his generosity when it came to supporting his peers and sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.”

(Source: News release)

About Colleges and Institutes Canada:

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.

HERITAGE LIVES: Hanging Out At The Cross St. Pools

Cross St. pool, 1952. (Photo: from Celebrating 150 Years)

By Terry Hughes

There were three iconic sport centres in Welland’s past. The oldest was Burgar Park, home to numerous baseball leagues; the Welland – Crowland Arena where hockey would reign supreme; and the Cross St. pools where swimming was mastered in a little more than two months. 

The earliest memories at the Cross St. facilities were the two pools centred by a red brick change house and a small building where you had your clothes checked.

It was not uncommon for young mothers to take their children down to the wading pool, set up a blanket and chair and watch their kids jump into the pool. There wasn’t a fence nor showers so entering the pool could be done at a place of your choice. The floor of the pool had a gentle slope so that you learned to gradually work your way to the deep end. The sprinkler in the centre was the choice spot to get wet.

As time went on, improvements to the pool included a foot bath, showers and a fenced in enclosure as shown in the accompanying picture.

By now you came to the pool with kids from the neighbourhood armed with an old shirt, bathing suit and old shoes and made your daily journey on foot to the pool. This may have been your second trip to the pool because swimming lessons were going on in the morning.

The lure of the big pool always piqued one’s interest, particularly if you paid a nickel to check your clothes. Most often it was on a dare that running through the showers and foot bath, you found yourself at the top of one of two staircases that took you down to the water’s edge. At that time the area between these stairs was grass. It was home to a surfboard used for rescues, a lifeguard’s chair and a siren to get people out of the pool in an emergency. There was no catwalk!

And then that final moment came when one of you would dog paddle out to the chain that was anchored to the wall, cling to it for a few moments and return. Everybody followed suit.

The arrival of the catwalk benefitted both swimmers and lifeguards. The need to use the surfboard was negated and the guards had a new location to supervise swimmers and conduct swimming lessons. Now, we could jump and dive off the catwalk into deeper water.      

If you wanted further adventures, jumping and diving into the canal off the wall was what it was all about. One day, I had decided to ride my CCM coaster bike down to the pool when I was approached by some older guy who wanted to borrow it. Somewhat dumbfounded, someone whispered that you’d better let him have it because he was a member of a bunch of street toughs!

Reluctantly, I gave him my bike and he informed me that he was going to ride my bike off the wall and into the canal at a spot just near the deep end of the pool called the pier. Sure enough he went tearing down the route that led him to the jumping off point. Just as he flew into the air, he pushed my bike downward and went into a “Mammy Yokum” dive and both hit the water in two different places!

He surfaced, rescued the bike and brought it up the stairs nice and clean and no worse for wear. Now I was the hero at the scene because he had used my bike for this stunt.

Swim meets were always popular. Hundreds of people would line the fences to watch our local favourites compete against other swimming clubs. Names included John Dudas, John “Wheaties” Reid, Bev Gardner and many others coached by Gord Sykes. Later, Rose Smith would take over after Gord retired.

In the evening the deep end of the pool was the scene of explosive stunts off the diving board. Doing “one leggers” and “tucks” would send huge plumes of water high above the fence and getting the spectators wet!            

My interest in swimming would propel me into Royal Life Saving Classes and lifeguarding at the pool. In 1958 when the city was celebrating its Centennial year the staff dressed up in old fashioned bathing attire thanks to Ross Stores. Later, working on pool maintenance and pool manager, I worked all city pools except Maple Park Pool. But my favorite pool was Cross St.

Our last photo pictures a lifeguard, sixty-three years ago and about one hundred pounds lighter about to go on his break by diving off the catwalk into the refreshing waters of the Cross St. pool.                      

Next Column:   HERE COMES THE UNITED STATES NAVY!

(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model railroading. His opinion column, Heritage Lives, appears on the blog once or twice monthly.)

City Establishes Cooling Station To Assist Residents During Excessive Heat

WELLANDThe City of Welland has established a cooling station to enable residents to get relief from the outdoors when a heat alert is in effect. When a heat alert is issued by Environment Canada, the city’s cooling station will be available at the East Main Street Welland Transit Terminal, 160 East Main Street, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.

Temperatures are expected to reach 30°C throughout the week and into the weekend, so city staff are welcoming people to stop by the cooling centre and beat the heat. Transit staff are encouraging people to wear face coverings while visiting the cooling centre.

Public Health advises everyone to take precautions during episodes of extreme heat and humidity; however, seniors, young children, and people with disabilities are most vulnerable in these conditions. Pets are also vulnerable and depend on their owners to keep them safe. Do not leave children or pets unattended in a parked car.

(Source: City of Welland news release)