UNBC Denied Canada West Membership

June 9, 2011

The Canada West Universities Athletics Association has again voted down the University of Northern British Columbia’s application for membership into the Association. The Canada West members voted today during the Canadian Interuniversity Sport annual meetings in Victoria.

Click here for the announcement from Canada West.

“I’m disappointed by the outcome of the vote earlier today. Canada West was presented with an opportunity to expand the reach of its Association into the north, and showcase some of Canada’s best and brightest student-athletes to our very deserving region,” says UNBC President George Iwama.

UNBC and its basketball program first applied for Canada West membership in 2008 and hosted a Canada West review team that fall. In early 2009, UNBC presented its application to the full Canada West membership in Calgary. That spring, Canada West delayed a decision on new members for one year.  The membership vote was subsequently held in May 2010 and UNBC’s application was not accepted.  UNBC re-applied that December, this time with the addition of men’s and women’s soccer. Again, a site team visited and UNBC made a presentation to the full Canada West membership. The inclusion of a second major sport, basketball being the first, allowed UNBC to pursue Canada West’s full-membership category.

“We understood that through the addition of a Director of Athletics and a second sport, we would be in a more favourable position than last year. Unfortunately, this was not enough to change the outcome of the vote,” says Dr. Iwama. “As a community we have witnessed great accomplishments from our student-athletes and we will continue to support our students in their pursuit of excellence. We are proud of our membership in the British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association and the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association and will continue to both strengthen our Athletics program and help move these Associations forward.”

UNBC required support from 75% of the Canada West membership.  The University is currently a member of the British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association competing in men’s and women’s basketball and soccer.   

Canada West continues to have 13 full-members and 2 probationary members. Canada West is one of four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

For further information, contact:
Rob van Adrichem, Vice-President, External Relations, UNBC – 250-960-5724
Jason Kerswill, Director, Athletics and Recreation, UNBC – 250-960-5331

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