T-Bird News

New Home for UBC Rugby

Athletes and fans will soon enjoy the new home of UBC rugby teams at the $2.7M Gerald McGavin Rugby Pavilion, scheduled to open in the new year. Located near West 16th Avenue and East Mall and overlooking the Arthur Lord and Frank Buck fields, the pavilion will feature change rooms, offices, storage space, and bleacher seating for 300 spectators along with a much-needed clubhouse lounge for alumni, students and sport groups. The facility is named in honour of UBC commerce alumnus Gerald McGavin, a member of the BC Rugby Hall of Fame, who generously donated $1M dollars towards the project. Combined with the McGavin gift, the project has received a total of $1.8M from private donors as part of UBC’s start an evolution campaign.

“Some of my fondest memories from my athletic career come from playing rugby,” says McGavin. “I learned what it takes to work as a team, the value of sportsmanship, and at the same time I forged relationships that lasted a lifetime. This facility is the opportunity for the next generation of rugby players to do the same.”

Initial financial and organizational leadership for the project was provided by former UBC rugby players Peter Bull, Andrew Hamilton, Greg Obertas, Keith Spencer, Peter R. Mortifee, Donald Carson and family, Rob McCarthy and Andrew Bibby. UBC Athletics and Recreation provided additional funding totalling $700,000 while another $200,000 has been committed by the British Columbia Rugby Union as part of a 10-year community partnership with UBC, which will give the BCRU access to the new pavilion and fields for its youth, developmental, grassroots and high performance programs.


Whitecaps FC and National Soccer Development Centre announced for Vancouver campus

UBC’s Thunderbird Park will be the home of a new training facility which will form the centrepiece of the proposed National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC) – a new athletic facility to be shared by Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the university and community. Formed out of a partnership between UBC, the Government of British Columbia and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the centre will include two new artificial fields, three new refurbished or improved grass fields and a field house, all scheduled to be completed in advance of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The centre will serve UBC’s varsity teams and UBC REC athletes, Whitecaps FC men’s, women’s, and residency teams, and Canada’s men’s, women’s, and youth national teams,
while more than 50 per cent of the field time will be dedicated to community programs. Community members currently make more than 700,000 visits to Thunderbird Park annually to participate in athletic activities and events, a number which UBC expects to grow through this new partnership.

The BC Government has committed $14.5M to the centre, the Whitecaps are providing $15M and UBC will provide the land. The partnership was developed as part of the UBC start an evolution campaign.


Mount Royal and UNBC join Canada West in 2012

Calgary’s Mount Royal University Cougars and the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves will compete in the Canada West conference in the 2012-2013 season, bringing the total number of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) member institutions to 54. Both schools will enter teams in men’s and women’s basketball and soccer, while Mount Royal will also enter men’s and women’s ice hockey and volleyball teams. The UBC Okanagan Heat joined Canada West in men’s and women’s volleyball and basketball in 2011.


Athletics director Bob Philip takes on new role at UBC

Bob Philip has signed off as director of Athletics and Recreation

After 20 years, 50 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships, and unprecedented growth and evolution in all aspects of varsity sport and campus recreation, Bob Philip has signed off as director of UBC Athletics and Recreation to assume a new role as senior advisor to Vice President, Students, Louise Cowin. Philip left his War Memorial Gym office on July 15, exactly 20 years to the day after he arrived from Montreal’s Concordia University. In addition to providing counsel on charting the future course for athletics and recreation at UBC, Philip will help to further strengthen connections with alumni and seek out new possibilities for student athletes in the areas of community service and international competition.

Among his many contributions, Philip’s entrepreneurial skills helped UBC to add new facilities such as the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Arena, the Tennis Centre, the John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse in Richmond and the Thunderbird Park playing fields. He was also central to increasing opportunities for female student athletes, adding women’s rugby, ice hockey and softball teams to the varsity sport portfolio, as well as restarting the men’s baseball team in 1996. In addition to the 50 CIS titles, UBC golf teams won five women’s and two men’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Championships during his time as director. He also served a term as CIS president and will continue in his current international role as a technical delegate for ice sports to the World University Games Federation.

Upcoming Canada West Regular Season Home Games

National team member Shanice Marcelle and UBC teammates will compete for a sixth consecutive national championship in 2013.
Fourth year UBC forward Max Grassi will help lead Thunderbirds the in 2012-13 season

Men’s and Women’s Basketball
(at War Memorial Gym)

Calgary: Nov. 30, W) 6:00 pm M) 8:00 pm
Lethbridge: Dec. 1, W) 5:00 pm M) 7:00 pm

Men’s Hockey
(at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre)

Regina: Nov. 30, 7:00 pm
Regina: Dec. 1, 7:00 pm

Women’s Hockey
(at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre)

Regina: November 30, 7:00 pm
Regina: Dec. 1, 7:00 pm

For more information on all Thunderbird teams, visit gothunderbirds.ca

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