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Our Mission

Fortius Sport & Health is an integrated athlete development centre strengthened through philanthropy and focused on optimizing human performance for life.

Our History

​More than 10 years in the making, Fortius Sport & Health is an integrated athlete development centre inspired by a vision around the best practices in sport & exercise medicine, science and training.

​2003 – INSPIRING THE CONCEPT 

  • The inspiration for Fortius came from the late Roman Tulis, Sr. The internationally recognized soccer coach is best known for creating one of Canada's leading soccer academies in Burnaby – The Roman Tulis European Soccer School of Excellence – now located at Fortius Sport & Health.
  • Tulis saw the need for integrated systems and amenities for athletes. One of his pupils was Niall Cousens, son of Fortius chair Scott Cousens. That relationship led to visioning around athlete development and its role in building healthier, stronger communities.

 

2004 and 2005 – HONING THE VISION

  • The Fortius Foundation was created in 2004 when Cousens committed to making a lead donation of $23 million, the single largest philanthropic gift in Canadian sport history. Cousens enlisted the support of a team of medical advisers, including long-time SportMedBC President & Chief Executive Officer Lynda Cannell, internationally recognized sports physiotherapist Dr. Rick Celebrini and Dr. Jack Taunton, a co-founder of SportMedBC and recent inductee into the BC Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder in Sport Medicine. Also supporting the development of the vision were high-profile personalities in the field such as Dr. Brian Day, Dr. Bruce Forster, Alex McKechnie and Dr. Chris MacLean.
  • Through the visioning process, gaps in the current sport system were identified, and sport medical leaders examined ways of supporting the sport system to enhance the health of the next generation of Canadians.

 

2006 and 2007 – CONSULTATION AND FEEDBACK

  • The Foundation consulted with a wide range of athletes, coaches and sport leaders, polling them on what they believed would most positively complement the existing sport system.

 

2008 through 2010 – STRENGTHENING THROUGH PHILANTHROPY

  • The creation of the Fortius Foundation, the charitable arm of Fortius Sport & Health, was driven by the notion that the best people in sport & exercise medicine needed a purpose-built home to integrate, collaborate and innovate. The global financial crisis of 2008 slowed down construction of the facility but simultaneously afforded the opportunity to re-boot with an even stronger philanthropic model led by Cousens.
  • The elevation of sport & exercise medicine is now possible based on the strength of the innovative model of economic sustainability fueled by the Fortius Foundation. Among those whose collaboration strengthened the project were representatives of the very best in business, legal, financial and charitable expertise, such as Benefic, KPMG, Blakes, McMillan and Emblematica Brand Builders.

 

2011 through 2013 – CONSTRUCTION, COMPLETION AND LAUNCH

  • The final phase of planning and construction began anew in 2011. It is supported by many of the practitioners who helped ensure the success of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. (In fact, the International Olympic Committee identified the 2010 Olympic Games as having the best sport medical platform of any Olympic Games in history.)
  • In 2012, a group of provincial sport governing bodies came together as the inaugural Resident Sport Partners of Fortius Sport & Health, including SportMedBC as Premier Founding Partner. Also on board are Curl BC, BC Athletics, Canoe-Kayak BC, Karate BC, BC Water Polo, Synchro BC and BC School Sports, along with the Roman Tulis European Soccer School of Excellence.

 

Also joining in on the completion and launch of Fortius Sport & Health were Resident Retail Partners such as Pharmasave Health Centre, FitFirst Footwear, SportMed Retail Group and Starbucks Coffee, along with presenting corporate partner TELUS and strategic corporate partner Herman Miller. The facility operated under a soft launch as of May 2013 and celebrated its Grand Opening Week September 28 – October 6, 2013. That same week, it was announced that the Canadian Women's National Soccer Team will be a Resident Training Partner on the road to the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.