UBC Okanagan makes the grade with Canada West

Heat varsity teams are granted full-member status in university conference

UBC Okanagan’s varsity athletics program has passed its final test.

After a process that spanned more than five years, the UBCO Heat Thursday received the votes necessary to become full members of the Canada West Universities Athletic Association.

Canada West policy requires a minimum three-quarters majority vote to grant full-member status.

“It is wonderful news for our institution and our athletics program and I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our application—and that’s a big group of people,” says Director of Athletics and Recreation Rob Johnson. “Back in 2007, full membership in Canada West and the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) was one of a number of institutional goals that were set, and it is very gratifying to see it achieved.”

UBC’s Okanagan campus becomes the 14th member of the Canada West conference, joining UBC Vancouver and universities from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Four Heat teams—men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball—have played the last two seasons in Canada West on probationary status.

“We’ve been working hard on this for five years. It is wonderful for our entire program and everyone who worked so hard on our application to see that work come to such a positive result,” says Johnson.

The positive membership vote also means that UBC Okanagan men’s and women’s soccer teams will start competing in Canada West in 2014.  That application was submitted in 2012 and was conditionally accepted pending the successful vote on full membership.

With full-member status, UBCO can also apply Canada West to add new varsity teams.

For many years, the Okanagan Sun has expressed an interest in fielding a football team in Canada West under the banner of UBCO.

With Thursday’s news,  general manager Jay Christensen said the Sun organization can take the next steps in formulating a long-term plan with the university.

“It’s a great step forward in our relationship with the university, and now we can get a little more serious about setting up a framework to work towards this move,” said Christensen. “Obviously, UBCO has a lot of exciting things on the go, but they do have an interest in football, so we’re headed in the right direction.”

In order to be properly prepared for such a transition, including recruiting the adequate number of student athletes, Christensen said the Sun would need a minimum of two full years.

If a formal application to Canada West for football is accepted,  he said the earliest the Sun could expect to be ready for the shift from junior to university football would likely be the 2016 season.

Meanwhile, the next and final step for the Heat in the membership process will be acceptance as a full, rather than probationary, member of the CIS at its annual general meeting from June 4 to 7 in Toronto.

 

 

Just Posted

3% tax hike proposed in West Kelowna

Proposed provisional budget tax hike in line with recent annual increases in the city

Okanagan robbery suspect sought

RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in an… Continue reading

11-year-old water quality advisory lifted in Glenmore

Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District says Interior Health gave the green light to lift advisory

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Eyes on Kelowna’s crime hotspots considered in budget

If you felt like someone was watching as you were out and about this summer, you may be right.

Crook’s Corner

A slice of this week’s arts and entertainment happenings in the North Okanagan at a glance

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Attempted murder charge up in the air after victim’s death

Without Thomas Szajko’s testimony, alleged shooter Afshin Ighani could get off on that charge

Red Scorpion associates cuffed in drug-trafficking bust

Kamloops RCMP lay charges in connection to Red Scorpion drug trafficking ring

Merry lottery win for Shuswap man

Five-dollar scratch ticket a $100,000 winner for Sicamous resident

Woman sought in Kamloops stabbing

Kamloops RCMP are looking for the woman they believed stabbed a man on Sunday

Most Read