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Cardiff white water canoe venue unveiled

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Cardiff International White Water (CIWW) - situated in Cardiff Bay - has been officially opened by the Winter Olympic gold medallist, Amy Williams.

Facilities at the new £13.3m venue - part of the city's International Sports Village (ISV) development - include the UK's first Olympic-standard pumped water canoe slalom course. Canoeing and white water rafting facilities will cater for people of all abilities, from starter through to international competition, with 50,000 users expected each year once fully established.

HydroStadium - the France-based group behind similar venues used during the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics - designed the venue, which was built by Dean and Dyball Civil Engineering. Cardiff Council was behind the scheme with assistance from the Welsh Assembly Government and the Welsh Canoe Association, while Cardiff Harbour Authority will manage the centre.

CIWW, which also boasts a café-bar and a retail unit selling water activity-related equipment, will be used as a training ground for the 2012 Games and aims to become one of the city's top tourism destinations. Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman said: "The new Cardiff International White Water will provide the city with a host of new opportunities and I am positive it will become one of Wales' top tourism venues, attracting local visitors and those from further field, ensuring a boost to the local tourist sector and economy."

Nigel Howells, executive member for sport, culture and leisure at the council, added: "The CIWW provides a new platform to expand Cardiff's already highly regarded reputation as world class sporting hosts and we hope to attract top water events."

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Cardiff International White Water (CIWW) - situated in Cardiff Bay - has been officially opened by the Winter Olympic gold medallist, Amy Williams.
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