Nova Scotia canoe and kayak athletes will benefit for years to come from a $500,000 contribution from the Department of Health Promotion and Protection to Canoe ’09 for course upgrades and a new starting system. The contribution to the event, officially known as the 2009 ICF World Senior Canoe Championships, comes from the department’s B-FIT program. It will help the host organization improve the Lake Banook course and to buy state-of-the-art starting equipment. “Our contribution will help ensure the success of Canoe ’09 and make a lasting contribution to help residents of Halifax Regional Municipality be healthier and more active,” said Barry Barnet, Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. “Nova Scotia has a proud canoeing and kayaking heritage. We are proud to support Canoe ’09 and its lasting legacies for sport and recreation in our province.” Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of Helena Guergis, Secretary of State for Sport, announced a federal contribution of up to $2 million to host the championships. Chris Keevill, chair of Canoe ’09, said Nova Scotia is is well known as a host of international sporting events and Lake Banook is among the best natural race courses in the world. “Our investment will ensure that we maintain that reputation and enhance an already world-class venue where athletes can reach their full potential and shine in front of thousands of international and national visitors.” The province’s B-FIT program will invest $68 million over 10 years in the construction of sport and recreation infrastructure. This is in addition to the $3 million invested annually in recreation facility development grants.