Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


The Canada Games Aquatic Centre in Saint John. Image: Tara Clow

Aquatic Centre upgrades would attract more events

By Brad Perry Mar 4, 2024 | 2:30 PM

A $70,000 investment could lead to a lot more events at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre.

Staff at the Saint John facility are looking to replace the swim blocks located at the end of each lane.

Swim blocks, or starting blocks, provide a safe and stable platform for swimmers to launch themselves into the water at the start of races.

Amy McLennan, general manager of the aquatic centre, said the current blocks are outdated and a deterrent for high-calibre athletes and events.

“If the funding is received, new track-style blocks will be installed and they include backstroke ledges,” McLennan told Saint John council’s finance committee last week.

“This update can take up to 0.1 seconds off a start time, which seems small, but in elite events, a win can be as little as one-hundredths of a second.”

Not only will this attract more out-of-province swimmers, said McLennan, but it will also help local athletes train at a higher level for those high-calibre events and will promote the overall sport of swimming to youth.

A business case from the aquatic centre said the new swim blocks will cost around $72,600. It has already received a $5,000 contribution from Swimming New Brunswick.

McLennan estimates the updated blocks will lead to nearly $24,000 in extra revenue and $180,000 in economic impact each year through additional meets, long meets, and more training camps.

“And then growing the overall sport in the region translates into more lane rentals, which again is revenue for the operating budget,” she said.

Replacing the starting blocks would also be a necessary component for the Canada Games, which the province is hosting in 2029.

Finance committee members supported a referral to the Fundy Regional Services Commission to add the replacement to its 2024 capital project list.