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 Annoucement: Pros rehabbing next to Joes

Not Classified

$61-million 'all-star' facility not just aimed at elite athletes
Article by Ed Willes, The Vancouver Province Newspaper
July 7, 2013



June 2013
3rd Annual Alumni Game
Cancer Fundraiser
When Scott Cousens first explained his idea to Roman Tulis, the old soccer coach wasn't exactly thrilled. Tulis, more to the point, thought Cousens was either off his rocker or trying to take something from him.

The mining executive might have been offering Tulis everything he'd wanted for the soccer academy he ran on the gravel field adjacent to the Scandinavian Cultural Centre in Burnaby. But, there had to be a catch, right? No one makes this kind of offer out of the goodness of their heart.

"He'd look at me and speak in that thick accent," Cousens says, laughing at the memory. "Why are you doing this? This is my business. You can't have it." Tulis, who passed away in 2010, wouldn't live to see the project through to its completion, but he's still part of the vision; his spirit still in the mission statement of Fortius Sports and Health.

It would take over a decade and his own charitable donation of some $23 million, but Cousens would build the facility he first discussed with Tulis those many years ago.

Build it and then some. "He represented the best in sports," says Cousens, whose sons both attended Tulis's academy. "He was tough, but the kids would walk through fire for him and he'd walk through fire for them. "We'd talk about how to reach youth. We both believed sports has the power to transform lives. It transformed mine." And now he's looking to pass on the favour.

The Fortius complex, a gleaming, $61-million steel and glass palais located in Burnaby, is impressive enough from the outside. But it's inside where Cousens and his team have laid out their ambitious plan. Merging the core of the 2010 Winter Olympics medical team along with another group of stars in their respective fields, Fortius is attempting to become to sports medicine what the Mayo Clinic is to the larger world of medicine. The scope of the non-profit society is so broad, in fact, it's hard to define exactly what it is. On one level, it's a spectacular recreation centre open to the public. On another, it's a high-level training centre which will attract elite athletes from all over the world. On yet another, it's a sports med think tank where practitioners like Rick Celebrini, Alex McKechnie, Jack Taunton and others exchange theories and ideas. Finally, it's also a state-of-the-art physio clinic which features a hydrotherapy centre and of course an underwater treadmill which you too can own, for a mere $200,000.

Read the full article at www.theprovince.com




 
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