‘It’s crucial that a community can support physical activity, and we hope to do just that’
TRURO – The Cougar Dome’s new facility director can’t wait for its doors to open.
“It’s phenomenal that a place like Truro will have a facility like the Cougar Dome,” said Tanya Colburne (nee Hodge), 32, a former events manager for the Canadian Soccer Association. “Truro has a lot going for it already and there is no facility like this in Atlantic Canada. This will be the first multi-sport facility with more than 30 offerings.”
The $2-1-million dome will have a 49,000 square-foot surface and will feature six international style-sized tennis courts, a three-lane track, and artificial turf.
Current plans call for it to be opened by the end of the year and Colburne’s primary goals are two-fold.
“First, I’ll be building on the community. The residents are very community-focused and this space is very unique and special to Colchester County,” she the former resident of Portapique who now lives in Bible Hill.
The second is to encourage activity, primarily in youth.
“It’s crucial that a community can support physical activity, and we hope to do just that.”
Colburne will also work on staying on track when it comes to donations and sponsors to complete the funding. And she be talking with various user groups in the community to make sure they know the Cougar Dome “will be of benefit to them.”
Inclement weather has resulted in a few setbacks to the construction schedule but with the foundation now complete the project is ready to move ahead.
“The foundation has to be very specific,” Colburne explained. “We had to ensure it’s just so prior to laying the surface.”
Heavily involved in both soccer and softball growing up, Colburne is now looking forward to taking up tennis.
“I actually want to dabble in it all, and do all of it,” she said.
A 1996 graduate of Cobequid Educational Centre, Colburne studied public relations for two years at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, and graduated from Dalhousie University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in recreation, and a Bachelor of Management.
She later moved to Ottawa and while working with the Canadian Soccer Association looked after all the national and international events that occurred within Canada. She also worked on Canada’s Women’s World Cup bid, the men’s under-20 championshp and the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
Married to Jeff for six years now, the couple has two children – Caden, four, and 20-month-old Joni.
“When I had Joni, I realized I wanted to be closer to home, so I made the decision to come home and utilize my skills and knowledge,” she said.
Colburne became involved with the Cougar Dome after chatting with Scott Annan, who has been spearheading the project.
“I was engaged in the project on a smaller scale and when the time came for this position opening, it became the logical next step for me.”
She said the Cougar Dome will open doors on recreational activities of all kinds.
“The Cougar Dome will have no level of competition with the other facilities here. We are here to supplement them,” she said.
“We’ll have offerings of activities that other facilities don’t offer, so we’ll be collaborating with them all. I’m really excited.”
ABOUT TANYA COLBURNE:
- From: Portapique, Colchester County
- Age: 32
- Graduated: Cobequid Educational Centre in 1996; Dalhousie University in 2005
- Lives: in Bible Hill
- Family: Husband Jeff, of six years; two children – Caden, 4, and Joni, 20 months
- Hired on as: facility director of the Cougar Dome
- Previous employment: Canadian Soccer Association
- Sports played: heavily involved in soccer and softball
COUGAR DOME AT A GLANCE:
- First multi-sport facility of its kind in Atlantic Canada
- Expected to open by the end of 2013
- A project worth $2.1 million and under the direction of the Cobequid Society of Athletic Excellence
- Will have a surface area of 49,000 square feet
- Located next to Cobequid Educational Centre and the Colchester Legion Stadium in Truro
- Will feature six international style-sized tennis courts, a three-lane track, and artificial turf
- Offerings will include tennis, soccer, lacrosse, lawn bowling, paintball, football, track
- Students will have free access during the school year from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday, with the public having access the rest of the time (depending on scheduling)
- Internationally certified so can be used for competitions
- Will be available to host birthday parties