OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Friday the hosts for six winter national championships in three sports in 2015 and 2016.
In women's basketball, the top teams in the country will compete for the Bronze Baby trophy at Laval University in 2015 and at the University of New Brunswick the following year.
Laval (1996, 1991, 1987) and UNB (2006, 1975) have both hosted the competition in the past. Both schools have recently opened brand new athletic facilities, the PEPS varsity gymnasium in Quebec City, which was officially christened last weekend, and the Richard J. Currie Center in Fredericton, which celebrated its second anniversary on Oct. 7.
This year's Bronze Baby tournament will be held at the University of Windsor from March 14 to 16.
"This is fantastic news for our great women's basketball program," said Laval varsity director Gilles Lépine. "We're really proud to get a chance to showcase our new facilities. Our new gymnasium, with its seating capacity of 3,200, will host its first national championship."
Added Christian Gagnon, Laval director of athletics and recreation: "We see this as a vote of confidence from CIS, considering we've hosted many national championships in recent years, including in football, soccer, volleyball, swimming and cross-country running, as well as rugby coming up in a few weeks."
"We are thrilled to see the women's basketball championship return to UNB," said Varsity Reds director of athletics John Richard. "Including 2014, we will have hosted nine national championships in a twelve-year period and we are excited to continue this partnership with CIS. In particular, we look forward to hosting another female championship and the opportunity to create a memorable and positive student-athlete experience."
In men's hoops, the Final Eight championship will remain in Ontario for one more year before moving out west for the first time in over three decades as Ryerson University and the University of British Columbia have been selected as hosts for 2015 and 2016, respectively.
The tournament has never been staged in Toronto since it debuted in 1963 and was held in Vancouver only once, back in 1972. The last time the competition was organized west of Ontario was in 1982 in Victoria.
Ryerson will host the cream of CIS men's basketball at its sparkling Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens, which opened just over a year ago, while UBC will hold the event at the five year-old Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, which was used for hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
This winter's Final Eight – hosted by Carleton University for the second straight year - is set for March 7 to 9 at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.
"We are very excited and proud to host student-athletes from across the country for the 2015 CIS men's basketball championship," said Dr. Ivan Joseph, director of Ryerson Athletics. "We believe the basketball support in the Toronto area is second to none. The fan engagement coupled with our historic venue will provide a memorable championship experience that will showcase Ryerson University and the city of Toronto."
"On behalf of the University of British Columbia, we are thrilled and honoured to host the 2016 Final Eight at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. We welcome the opportunity to showcase and promote the sport of basketball, the excellence of Canadian student-athletes and the CIS brand in Vancouver – the first time it has been held in the west since 1982," said Theresa Hanson, associate director, intercollegiate & high performance sport at UBC. "The Final Eight will serve as a way to tie past successes and the present standard of excellence of the UBC men's basketball team, to the many young players who love the sport in Vancouver and British Columbia. We are ready to welcome CIS and showcase the best and brightest student-athletes in Canadian university sport!"
In men's hockey, the University Cup tournament, which also dates back to 1963, will finally make its long-awaited debut in Halifax.
St. Francis Xavier University, Saint Mary's University and Sports and Entertainment Atlantic (S|E|A) are joining forces to stage the competition for two years at the 11,000-seat Metro Centre. StFX will be the official host in 2015 and Saint Mary's in 2016.
This season's championship is scheduled for March 20 to 23 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon. The University of Saskatchewan is hosting for the second consecutive year.
"We are very excited and energized about the opportunity to host two championships that will showcase the highest level of amateur hockey in Canada. StFX is honoured to be the official host in 2015 as we know SMU is equally honoured to be the official host in 2016," said Leo MacPherson, StFX director of athletics and recreation. "Our creative, collaborative three-way partnership between StFX, SMU and Sports and Entertainment Atlantic was key to winning the bid and it will be key to delivering two amazing championships where the ultimate winners will be the our student-athletes, the hockey fans in Nova Scotia, and the corresponding enhancements to the brand equity of CIS and AUS Hockey."
"Saint Mary's University is pleased and honoured to have been chosen along with Saint Francis Xavier University to host the University Cup in 2015 and 2016," said Dr. David Murphy, director of athletics and recreation at Saint Mary's. "This will have positive effects for our universities, CIS, AUS and the city of Halifax as we bring the top tier of amateur hockey to this city. We look forward to collaborating with StFX to bring this outstanding event to the Metro Centre and showcase our CIS student-athletes. We thank the selection committee for choosing to bring the University Cup to Halifax for the first time. We will continue the great East Coast hospitality and will not disappoint."
NOTE: Exact dates for all six championships will be confirmed later this year.
2015 & 2016 CIS CHAMPIONSHIP HOSTS:
2015: Laval (Quebec City)
2016: UNB (Fredericton)
2015: Ryerson (Toronto)
2016: UBC (Vancouver)
2015: StFX & Saint Mary's (Halifax)
2016: StFX & Saint Mary's (Halifax)
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 55 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on: