(Image / Rowing Canada Aviron Facebook)

After decades of training at Elk Lake, Canada’s national rowing team is relocating from Saanich to Quamichan Lake in North Cowichan.

Back in September, the rowing team announced that they were considering moving from Elk Lake and asked if any communities across the country were interested in hosting a new training facility.

Five communities applied to host the rowing team, and North Cowichan has just announced they’ve been chosen.

“We are delighted to have found such a willing and supportive partner in North Cowichan,” said Rowing Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, Terry Dillon in a release.

“From our initial conversations, it was clear that they shared our vision for creating a home for our National Team programs. We look forward to working together in the coming months and years.”

North Cowichan was chosen as the location for a new training facility based on the following criteria: strongest technical scorecard, high level of community support, access to suitable bodies of water, dedicated and tailored boathouse facility, and dryland facilities in close proximity.

“We are a region of sport, recreation, and love of the outdoors,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring in a statement.

“With its focus on health, sport, and excellence, Rowing Canada Aviron is exactly the partner that we want in our community. We know it will be a significant undertaking for Rowing Canada to build a new home, and our community is with them and supporting them on this journey.”

The national team will train at Quamichan Lake periodically as they prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. After the olympics, the team will fully relocate to North Cowichan.

Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) had been training in Saanich since 1984. While Elk Lake made a bid for the team to remain, RCA’s reasons for leaving in the first place remained, an increase of lake visitors have made the water increasingly crowded.