May 18, 1999 For Immediate Release
At its Annual General Meeting in Kelowna, the BC Colleges' Athletic Association (BCCAA) voted unanimously to grant membership to the University of Northern British Columbia athletics program. As a result, the UNBC Northern Timberwolves men's and women's basketball teams will be participating in the BCCAA basketball leagues commencing this Fall.
"This provides a great opportunity for northern athletes to compete at a provincial level while pursuing a university education," says Jim O'Meara, UNBC Athletics and Recreation Coordinator. "Basketball is a great beginning for us because there are so many great players at northern high schools, but we're hoping to be able to expand the program in the future to include other sports."
UNBC has created a "Junior Varsity" program, where teams can develop into full varsity teams. For example, the Nordic Ski Team, Hockey Team, Rugby Team, and Soccer Team are all developing their programs. At this time, the basketball teams are the only "varsity" teams.
In 1995-96 and 1996-97, the men's and women's basketball teams played in the Prince George recreation leagues before participating in an exhibition season against other BC collegiate teams last year.
"The athletics program is becoming an integral part of the community," says Jim O'Meara. "This year, we launched the Operation Red Nose program locally to help raise funds for athletics, and more than 350 elementary school students attended our Outreach basketball camps."
UNBC's first games in the BCCAA will be in November.