CCAA The UBC Okanagan men display their silver medals at the CCAA men’s national golf championship in Oshawa, Ont.

The Year in Sports: Heat golf lives to play another day

UBCO golf team raises funds to compete in B.C.’s collegiate league

On and off the course, 2017 was a year to remember for the UBC Okanagan Heat golf program.

In January, the Heat had its funding pulled by the university and faced the prospects of not fielding a team for the fall’s PACWEST season.

But through the efforts of a fundraising campaign by the team’s players and the help of donors in the golf and business communities, the Heat raised the necessary $40,000 to put the program back on its feet.

UBCO student athletes McKenna Lesiuk and Lauren Siemers were driving forces behind the team’s resurrection, devoting countless hours to both the fundraising work and promotion of the program.

Cheryl Stecko, events coordinator at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club, was also instrumental in helping the Heat meet their goals.

“People really came together and helped out and we’re very grateful,” said Stecko. “I’m thrilled to death that the team will be able to compete again in the fall.”

The Heat men responded by winning a silver medal at the PACWEST championship, then followed it up with another silver at the CCAA nationals in Oshawa. All-Canadian James Casorso capped off his stellar UBCO career with a second-place individual effort.

Led by Emily Adams and McKenna Lesiuk, the Heat women finished fifth in the national field.

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