Luke Willson to train in new high-performance centre in Windsor school

What used to be a swimming pool at a Windsor school will soon become the spot where the community can train using professional equipment.

‘It’s open to the kids, it’s open to the community,’ says Willson

Jim MacDougall, left, head of physical education at Kennedy Collegiate Institute, with Luke Willson, centre, and Mark Fitzgerald, owner of Elite Training Systems. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

A partnership between E.T.S. (Elite Training Systems) and Greater County District School Board is breathing new life into an old swimming pool.

Kennedy Collegiate Institute will be the new home of a high-performance training centre.

E.T.S. is owned by Mark Fitzgerald, the strength and conditioning coach for the NHL Anaheim Ducks.

"This is a facility, it's a high performance centre, for athletes of all ages, to come here and become better athletes," said Luke Willson, player for the Detroit Lions.

After the centre is finished in March, Willson will be one of the faces hanging out at the centre to train during his off season.

According to Fitzgerald, Windsor-Essex is an underserviced market for this type of a training centre.

And in this new facility, the equipment will be state-of-the-art, he said, because it's what professional athletes would expect. E.T.S. is paying for all the equipment and the school board will be responsible for filling in the pool and finishing the floor.

"We're going all out," said Fitzgerald.

Josh Canty, principal of the school, says this training centre has been a year and a half in the making. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

Even so, those less athletically-inclined are still welcome.

"I'll be in here and you'll have 9th grade kids that don't necessarily play sports, but for wellness and whatever reason you want to use this facility," said Willson. "It's open to the kids, it's open to the community."

Canty said they've been working with E.T.S. for about a year and a half to get the project finalized.

Once it's finished, during the day time students will have access to the facility.

Not only that, Canty said they're trying to see if a program can be set up for teachers to use the facility by a donation basis, which can go towards building a scholarship fund.

"We're going to be targeting people of all different lifestyles," said Canty.

With files from Stacey Janzer


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