A letter from UBC Athletics & Recreation Managing Director, Ashley Howard

Ashley Howard (left), Wendy Pattenden (centre) and Louise Cowin (right)

Dear friends,
As our fall season comes to a close, UBC Athletics & Recreation has already celebrated three national championship titles and a host of student-athlete and coach recognition awards. What happens “on the field” with our student-athletes and coaches is at the heart of our varsity planning and support, but often there is much going on behind the scenes to help set up our department for ongoing success.
In addition to wishing you well for the holidays, I wanted to update you on some of these exciting underpinning developments for UBC Athletics and Recreation.  Here are some recent highlights:
Canadian Sport Institute (Pacific)
During a holiday open house today at War Memorial Gym with UBC President Arvind Gupta, coaches and student athletes, we were pleased to be joined by Chris Cameron, the Vice Chair of the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific to announce a partnership focused on improving our capacity to support athletes and coaches.  Among other things, our shared goal is to win more Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships and Olympic/Paralympic medals.
UBC will benefit directly from increased resources, support and technical leadership from the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific to build on the department’s culture of high performance.  The Institute will have the opportunity to develop world class applied sport practitioners through mentorship and internship programs with shared learning that can cascade between varsity and national teams. 
Here is a link to more information about the partnership and today’s announcement
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
President Gupta and Vancouver Whitecaps FC President and CEO Bob Lenarduzzi joined us at the Gerald McGavin Rugby Centre, UBC, last week to announce that soccer fans in Metro Vancouver will soon have a new professional team to cheer for. Whitecaps FC announced on Friday the launch of Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2), the club’s USL PRO team that will begin play in the spring of 2015. WFC2 will play all home matches on the David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium, a natural extension of the club’s training home at the University of British Columbia: the National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC)).  Here is a link to more information.
At the same time, we provided an update on the revealed preliminary renderings of the final phase of the NSDC, featuring a state-of-the-art fieldhouse (subject to final UBC Board of Governors approval), which is set to be completed prior to the start of the 2017 Major League Soccer (MLS) preseason.  Click here to see plans we presented at the event. 
Academic All Canadians at UBC
In November, we announced that 149 UBC student-athletes were honoured at the annual Academic All Canadian Breakfast which recognizes those UBC Thunderbirds who achieve an average of 80% or higher in their classes, while competing in an UBC varsity sport during the 2013-14 season. Here is a link to more information.
President’s Advisory Committee
We are pleased to welcome a commitment from UBC President Arvind Gupta to establishment of an Advisory Committee to help strengthen UBC Athletics & Recreation. In the December edition of Trek and our Blue & Gold magazines, President Gupta says:
“I want to help our Athletics and Recreation team develop new partnerships with the private sector, donors, and sports organizations.  Our inclusive approach will leverage lessons learned, promote innovation and work to increase access to equipment, lab space, facilities and training that will support excellence for our coaches and student athletes.”

Coming Up
We have more exciting news to share in the coming weeks regarding UBC Athletics and Recreation so bookmark our site for updates and the latest news on from all of our teams.  Here are some events to watch for as the season resumes after our student-athletes complete their exams in December and the holiday period:

  • UBC men’s hockey vs Saskatchewan – Friday, January 16 at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre
  • UBC men’s and women’s volleyball vs Trinity Western – Friday, January 23 at War Memorial Gym
  • UBC men’s and women’s basketball vs Calgary – Friday, January 30 at War Memorial Gym
  • UBC Triathlon Duathlon – Saturday, March 7
  • Storm the Wall – March 22-26

I will circulate/post another update early in the New Year.  In the meantime, on behalf of all of us at UBC Athletics and Recreation, please accept our warmest best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season ahead.
Ashley Howard
Managing Director, UBC Athletics & Recreation