Sports action will be getting even hotter on the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus with the Okanagan Heat taking on some of the top university teams in the nation.
For the first time, the Heat will compete in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) level – the pinnacle of post-secondary sporting competition. The men’s and women’s volleyball and basketball teams have been officially welcomed as the 52nd CIS member institution effective September 2011. CIS is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-two universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie annually for 21 national championships in 12 different sports.
The volleyball season, and home opener is Oct. 28 versus the University of Winnipeg. The season will be highlighted on Nov. 4 and 5 when the UBC Thunderbirds are in Kelowna.
Basketball will start the season on the road Nov. 11 at the University of Lethbridge and finish the regular season on Feb. 12. Their first home game will be Nov. 25 when they host the University of Regina.
Construction will begin soon on the gymnasium expansion that will house a new multi-use fitness facility increasing the size of cardio and weight room space to accommodate the growing number of students and staff that use or would like to utilize the facility.
“We believe that values and life skills such as team work, self-discipline, respect for self and others, fair play, time management, hard work, etc. are not automatically infused in all who participate in, or follow, varsity sport. These things must be taught, modeled, reinforced, expected. Our philosophy is built on the premise that UBC’s Okanagan campus, as an institution, believes that varsity athletics can be a valuable component of one’s post-secondary education if, and only if, appropriate values and life skills are gained.”
-- Director of Athletics Rob Johnson
New to the Athletics Department
New to the Heat family is Adam Goodwin, the events, marketing, and sports development specialist who will look to add to the excitement of the games at the campus.
New men’s soccer coach, Dante Zanatta said he is, “really looking forward to the challenge of coaching in the British Columbia College Athletics Association, and building a strong and competitive program for years to come.”
Golf coach Terry Nicol, hired late in the year, is working to build a competitive golf team. “I’m looking forward to the challenges of building a successful golf program, working with the young athletes, and making this the strongest team ever.”
UBC’s Okanagan campus will host the 2011 BCCAA men’s and women’s provincial soccer championships this fall. Competition is scheduled for Oct. 28-30 on the Nonis Turf Field; the soccer season runs from Sept. 10 to Oct. 23 with provincials and nationals following.
The golf team will host a tournament Sept. 24 to 25 at the Okanagan Golf Club. The full golf season runs from Sept. 17 through Oct. 21, with the last four days in PEI at the national championship.
For the second year, the Heat will have a varsity rugby team that will compete at the National University seven’s championships in March 2012.
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