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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 16:35 GMT
City's white water slalom plans
Artist impression of International Sports Village
Work on the course at the sports village is expected to start in May 2007
The first pumped Olympic-standard canoe slalom course in the UK is being planned for Cardiff's new International Sports Village (ISV).

The 250m course is the latest facility to be announced for the ISV and will offer white water activities.

A deadline for tenders for the 8.4m project has been set for February 2007 with work to begin in May and a planned completion date of March 2008.

It could be used for some of the 2012 London Olympics events.

It is the first pumped Olympics standard facility in the UK and is expected to attract up to 50,000 users a year once fully established.

The facility is being developed by the Cardiff Harbour Authority, with funding support being sought from the Welsh Assembly Government, Sportlot, the Welsh Canoe Association and the Heritage Lottery fund.

There are currently approximately 1,250,000 canoe participants in the UK making it the highest participation water activity in the country with around 38 canoe clubs in south Wales which could benefit from the centre.

'Tourist destination"

Organisers say canoe and white water enthusiasts from across the UK could be attracted to the new facility.

It will be part of a number of high profile sporting facilities being set up in the ISV including a 50m international pool along with a 25m warm up pool which is underway at the site.

A 2,000 seat temporary ice rink recently opened there which will be replaced by a 5,000 seat venue within the next five years which will include a multipurpose area which could serve Olympic sports such as gymnastics, weight lifting, boxing, wrestling, judo, fencing, and basketball.

It will also have facilities for ice sports, recreational skating and a snow box.

Councillor Nigel Howells from Cardiff Council said called the development "very exciting" and said it would "increase Cardiff Bay's standing as one of the UK's premier visitor destinations for outdoor activities".

He added: "The sports village is creating a significant tourist destination that will bring benefits to the city and south Wales region as a whole.

"The development of the Olympic-standard canoe slalom centre will make a significant contribution to this aim."

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