Not long ago it was just a dream of a few cycling enthusiasts. Now, the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton is not only a reality, it will soon host a major international competition – the track cycling events of the 2015 Pan American Games.
Three years in the making, the world-class velodrome recently hosted its first two weekend events, welcoming more than 6,700 spectators, athletes and coaches from across Canada and around the world. The Town of Milton recently hosted a private donor and sponsor recognition celebration to honour those whose support helped bring the facility to fruition.
Among the attendees were leaders from all three levels of government, including Lisa Raitt, MP, Halton and federal Minister of Transport, Indira Naidoo-Harris, MPP, Halton and Milton Mayor Gord Krantz, along with members of Town council.
“The Mattamy National Cycling Centre represents so many important partnerships and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to recognize the relationships that were built through our shared mission,” says Krantz.
Also in attendance were representatives from the many businesses and organizations that supported the project, as well as individual donors and sponsors. Among them was Howard Chang, who led the Make-it-Happen campaign that raised funds for the building of the velodrome.
In keeping with the vision of the velodrome as a high-performance cycling centre and a community recreation facility, the fundraising campaign encouraged everyone in the area to get involved. From sponsoring a $25 virtual track plank, to purchasing a $250 seat, the campaign offered a number of opportunities for Miltonians.
The campaign received a major boost from Peter Gilgan, founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes and member of the Make-it-Happen committee. Gilgan shared the dream of creating a home for Canadian cycling in Milton early on, and was quick to mobilize the cycling community and encouraged their involvement through events such as Mattamy’s Tour de Bleu, the Paris to Ancaster Bike Race and the Ride Across America.
“We are so pleased to have been a part of this wonderful initiative and proud that the Mattamy name will be associated with cycling excellence for years to come,” says Gilgan. “We’re looking forward to Milton becoming a destination for the world’s best cycling athletes and competitions. When you add to that the benefits to the local community from this world-class centre, it really is going to be a new era for sports and recreation in the region.”
During the Pan Am Games (July 10-26) and Parapan Am Games (Aug. 7-15), the Mattamy National Cycling Centre will be known as the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome.
This isn’t the first time Gilgan has supported amateur athletics in the GTA. In 2011, he donated $15 million to Ryerson University for a new athletic complex on the site of the former Maple Leaf Gardens. The facility was renamed Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens, while ice rink, located on the third level, is called Mattamy Home Ice.