Campus Life

U of L truly a sporting hub

As the University of Lethbridge began to remake its recreational identity in recent years, the promise of attracting high calibre athletic events to southern Alberta was touted as a key benefit to adding new facilities.

That promise is beginning to be realized, and the recent announcement that the city of Lethbridge will serve as host to the 2012 Alberta Summer Games is testament to the fact that Lethbridge can now tout the U of L as a hub of sporting activity.

"The Lethbridge Sports Bid Committee actively goes out and seeks these types of events and with our facilities, we're a natural host for these kinds of things," says Deb Marek, manager, facilities for Sport and Recreation Services.

Lethbridge would likely have been overlooked for an event the magnitude of the Summer Games had the Community Sports Stadium not been constructed. It will host all the track and field competitions as well as football for the 2012 event. Meanwhile, the 1st Choice Savings Centre will host basketball and the Max Bell Aquatic Centre will welcome both swimming and water polo, giving the University five high profile events with thousands of athletes, parents and spectators getting a look at the facilities.

"It's always great to bring kids from all over Alberta to our campus and this will bring a lot of people here. It's an opportunity to show them our facilities, and show them our University as a whole," says Marek.

While the 1st Choice Savings Centre has already established its reputation as an elite facility, having hosted numerous large-scale events, the Community Sports Stadium is in its first full season of activity. Community groups are quickly coming on board as the stadium will host a total of eight track meets in April and May alone, as well as high school rugby, soccer, and summer football and rugby camps.

"When you look at our recreational facilities as a whole, we operate the entire 12 months," says Marek. "We have our own summer camps that utilize the facilities, and we also have an abundance of community rentals as well. We are truly a community access facility group."