UAlberta welcomes Canada’s national women’s basketball team

(Edmonton) Continuing its reputation as a leader in the development of women’s sport in Canada, the University of Alberta is the new home and training centre of the Canada Basketball Senior Women’s National Team.

The team, which advanced to the quarterfinals at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, will train year-round at the Saville Community Sports Centre on the U of A’s south campus. The 32,516-square-metre, multi-sport facility includes 12 International Basketball Federation-size basketball courts, as well as the recently unveiled High Performance Training and Research Centre—an 836-square-metre training and sport research space that features multiple Olympic weightlifting sets and platforms, squat cages and pull-up stations, as well as gymnastic, dynamic and acceleration mechanics areas and state-of-the-art metabolic conditioning bikes.

Having Canada’s national women’s basketball team based at the U of A, and in Edmonton, opens up opportunities to further develop interest in women’s basketball throughout greater Edmonton and northern Alberta. The partnership between the national program and the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation will broadly strengthen the sport system in the city, the province and beyond through increased opportunities for developing integrated support systems such as coaching, sport science and sport medicine.

The U of A began to establish itself as a leader in the development of women’s sport in the 1990s with the addition of women’s hockey, women’s wrestling and women’s rugby, as well as through the dedication of resources like full-time head coaches to women’s sport. Between 1995 and 2005, U of A Pandas female student-athlete teams combined to win a staggering 19 Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships in six sports. As a result, Pandas hockey and Pandas rugby are the most successful women’s hockey and rugby programs in CIS history, with a legacy of championships, provincial and national team members, and community leaders and coaches. More recently, Pandas teams have won 10 of the 20 CIS national championships the U of A has collected over the past decade.

The arrival of the Canadian women’s national team is just the latest success for the U of A in developing women’s sport. Recently, the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, which houses Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics, raised $60,000 for U of A female student-athlete scholarships at an event that featured Anne Merklinger, CEO of Own the Podium and one of the most influential women in Canadian sport history, as the guest speaker.

2013 Senior Women’s National Team training schedule

June 27
4:30–7 p.m.
Saville Community Sports Centre

June 28
9:30–11:30 a.m.
5–7 p.m.
University of Alberta Main Gymnasium

June 29
5–7 p.m.
University of Alberta Main Gymnasium

June 30
9:30 a.m.–noon
University of Alberta Main Gymnasium