Prince George, BC - The University of Northern British Columbia got the nod today to compete as an official member of one of the most competitive leagues in university sport in Canada – the Canada West conference of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) members voted in favour of UNBC moving from a probationary member to full membership status at the annual general meeting in Harrison, BC on Tuesday, May 6.
“Receiving a positive vote today is extremely exciting for UNBC and the Timberwolves program,” says UNBC Interim President Mark Dale. “Academically UNBC is recognized as one of the top research intensive institutions in the country. Now, as members of Canada West, we will compete both academically and athletically with some of the top schools in Canada.”
The Timberwolves submitted their first application to join Canada West in 2008. It wasn’t until 2010 that the Timberwolves received a majority vote bringing them on as a probationary member to start competition during the 2012-13 season.
“This move is the product of the support of numerous people and demonstrates the growth of the university’s athletic department,” says Loralyn Murdoch, UNBC’s Director of Athletics and Recreation, who has been involved in the process from the beginning. “The hard work of so many people over the past seven years has finally paid off. I am thankful to them for beginning this initiative and for their continued support. The future is bright for UNBC Athletics.”
Canada West policy requires a minimum three-quarters majority vote to grant full membership to a probationary school. Mount Royal University joins UNBC to become the 15th and 16th institutions to join schools from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in Canada West.
Over the past two seasons as probationary members with Canada West, the Timberwolves have continued to be competitive academically as well as athletically. During the 2012-13 season, 13 of 60 UNBC student-athletes were recognized as Academic All-Canadians, earning a grade point average of 3.67 (equivalent to an A-) or higher in full-time studies.
“Our athletes are great ambassadors for UNBC, both athletically and academically,” says Murdoch. “Now as members of Canada West our student-athletes will be recognized for their achievements alongside the top student-athletes from across the country.”
The final step for the Timberwolves will be at the CIS annual general meeting from June 9 to 11 in Vancouver, BC. This meeting will indicate whether UNBC will be accepted as a full member of the CIS, rather than its current position as a probationary member.