Talking Tourism: A new generation for sport in Ottawa

Editor's Note

This article is sponsored by Ottawa Tourism

With events and festivals making their return to the capital, a resurgence in sports tourism is expected to follow suit – in part, due to a set of new state-of-the-art sports facilities in the community.

In this episode of Talking Tourism, Mark Sutcliffe sits down with the RA Centre's Tosha Rhodenizer to hear about the latest initiatives happening at the legendary sports facility.

To hear the full podcast, please watch the video above. 

Prefer an audio version? Listen to the conversation on Soundcloud or Spotify!

SUTCLIFFE: The last few years have been difficult. How has that impacted the RA Centre?

RHODENIZER: No one ever would have seen this coming, and every line of our business except the House of Sport has been impacted. We are in this state of planning and un-planning, but there is a cautious state of optimism. We are seeing a return to the activities that people love which is encouraging. Since the summer period where we successfully hosted 3,000 kids through camp, and the reopening of programs we have seen that momentum build, but we are hyper aware that we don't want to make any costly mistakes or take unnecessary risks. 

SUTCLIFFE: There are some recent announcements from the RA Centre, tell us about those. 

RHODENIZER: With the pandemic came some opportunities to reimagine how we operate. We've been in a state of transformation since 2015, and that includes taking a look at all aspects of the building and responding to the needs of our community. COVID allowed us to expedite some of those plans. Pickleball, for example, is the fastest-growing sport in Canada and by exiting our hockey program we have been able to open a curling centre of excellence and a state-of-the-art pickle ball court. That is truly a hive of activity! We sold out our pickleball memberships before we even opened our facility which is amazing to see.