2011-12 was a momentous year in Heat athletics. As new members of Canada West, this was the first year for the basketball and volleyball teams to play in the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport).
UBC finally saw the highest level of university athletes compete on the gym floor at its Okanagan campus and eagerly await the sophomore year.
Not only did the indoor sports compete at the highest level of amateur sport in Canada this past year, but the teams were also making good on the promise to be an active part of the community. Heat teams gave their time in the community on large scale projects like Wendy’s Dreamlift Day and the Food Bank’s Stuff a Bus campaign; and also in smaller scale activities like the Read-to-Achieve program in local elementary schools or the annual Parkinson Super Walk. Other events coincided with varsity games like the CIS Shoot for the Cure initiative and the KidSport program. In total, there were 224 hours of volunteer work in the community tallied by student-athletes this past year.
For the first time in the Heat soccer programs’ history, both teams medaled at the provincial championships.
UBC’s Okanagan campus played host to the PACWEST provincial championships. The men’s team won their first ever medal finishing with the bronze, and the women’s team lost in extra time in the championship final to capture their first ever silver medal.
This season both teams will look to continue their winning ways. Second-year head coach of the men’s squad, Dante Zanatta, brings back many players from his bronze medal group. With the extra year of experience in the league and the players familiar with the coach’s systems look for this squad to be a championship contender.
The Heat women, under the leadership of fifth year coach Claire Paterson, have improved every year under her guidance – this talented squad looks to make their mark on the national stage this year with an eye to the national championships this November in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Soccer opens the season at home on Saturday Sept. 8. The big news for soccer is that the Heat soccer teams have been conditionally accepted to join Canada West and will start play in the fall of 2014.
It was a hugely successful first campaign in the CIS that saw the men’s volleyball team play some inspired volleyball at the end of the season that led to dramatically reaching the Canada West playoffs – something that had never been done in Canada West’s team’s first year.
The women’s squad looks to jump on teams in 2012-13 after winning three of the last four matches last season and coming just a few wins shy of also reaching a playoff berth last season.
Men’s fourth year player, Nate Speijer from Penticton, BC, was outstanding in his first Canada West season, winning a Canada West All-Star and parlaying that success into a spot on the Canadian national B volleyball team.
Both teams have once again recruited the top high schoolers across Western Canada and are bringing in impressive recruiting classes.
Greg Poitras, the men’s coach, and the women’s coach Steve Manuel, will have their teams ready for their season opening game Friday October 26 in Kamloops with the Heat home opener the next night.
All of the team’s games home and away will be broadcast on www.canadawest.tv
Both the men’s and women’s teams liked playing on their home court in their inaugural campaign in Canada West, as the men’s squad won three games in Kelowna and the Heat women’s team managed to take two at home.
A new face will guide the men’s team as former Olympian and long-time professional basketball player, Pete Guarasci, has been brought in to be the new head coach of the Heat. The addition of the new coach has reaped benefits already as the Canadian basketball legend was able to convince some of Western Canada’s top high school players to forego basketball in the States and stay in Canada to play.
Heather Semeniuk is back for her nineteenth season guiding the team at UBC’s Okanagan campus and will continue to develop her roster with the addition of a talented transfer in Sarah Allison, and a group of strong high school recruits.
Both teams will begin their second season in Canada West on the road November 2-3, and then play their home opener the following weekend (Nov. 9-10).
All of the team’s home and away games will be broadcast on www.canadawest.tv
For the third straight year our women’s golf team was the best in the province with Jen Woods, Alana Kent, Martina Osman, and Samantha Gottfred bring home a banner. The men’s team placed fifth in the province, and Heat golfer Cody Bell was the provincial player of the year with the lowest combined score over all five tournaments over the year.
Alana Kent finished second to bring home an individual silver medal at the national championships, and Cody Bell finished eighth, both as individual golfers.
This year the team has brought on a new coach, Mike Darnbrough, who will use his long coaching career at Kelowna Secondary School and extensive knowledge of junior golfers in the Okanagan to strengthen the core of the team and push for more provincial and national medals.
The Golf team will hold its qualifying tournament in August; the team’s first tournament of the year will be in Kamloops on Sept. 8-9.
Rugby and Cross Country
The sports of Rugby and Cross Country continue to grow at UBC.
New coaches for the Cross Country team Nikki and Nate Reiter, a husband and wife team who competed in track and field at the university level in Ontario, will be the driving forces in the growth of the cross country program.
Rob O’Brien, a UBC chemistry professor, in his third year as coach of the rugby program for the UBC Okanagan Heat, continues to propel the team forward.
The men’s 15s will play a series of exhibition games for their season – the team will also host the Hindson Cup – an annual interuniversity series of rugby against other university teams from Alberta and BC. The women 15s will play in the BC Rugby Union’s club league.
Sevens has been a huge part of the rugby revolution at UBC Okanagan. The faster/shorter version of rugby with only seven players playing on a side and playing seven minute halves on a regulation rugby field, has been added to the 2016 Olympics. The new Olympic sport has held a university championship that the Heat has competed in for the past two years for the men, and once for the women’s squad. Look for the Heat) to again make some noise at this championship in the spring of 2013. Both teams for the second year in a row will use the Vegas Sevens international tournament as a warm up for the nationals.
The men’s rugby squad has also landed some stellar recruits for the upcoming season.
Follow the team at www.goheat.ca/rugby
At the end of the season, the Heat bring in a speaker to headline their Athletic Scholarship Breakfast. This will be the eighth year for the event that is sponsored by Valley First Credit Union.
Campus Recreation has another exciting year with over 2,400 students participating in intramural sports leagues, over 1500 students and employees attending fitness classes and hundreds more participating in special events such as Friday night ski buses, Big White Student Day, Curling clinics and the annual Feed the Valley Walk and Run.
The 2012-13 academic year is going to be another exciting one with new events like the Welcome Back Bocce Bash for first year students on Labour Day, and a Curling Funspiel in January.
Old classics such as intramural sport leagues and tournaments, no-charge fitness classes for students and cheap access to the area’s ski hills will be offered throughout the year.
The academic year will close with the 3rd Annual Feed the Valley Walk and Run which hopes to be bigger and better than ever and gives the campus an opportunity to give back to the food banks of our local Okanagan region.
Check camprec.ca for all the up to date information.
Good news: construction is underway on the UBC gymnasium expansion that will house a new multi-use fitness facility open to the community.
The Hangar Fitness and Wellness Centre is made possible through a donation on behalf of staff of Kelowna Flightcraft.
For more information, visit www.goheat.ca/thehangar