Philanthropy mattersfor athletic achievement

Donation to WolfPack training is largest to date

IN UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS, ONE QUESTION always remains paramount: What does it take to win?

While there isn’t a “magic formula,” we do know that talented coaches and scholarships to attract top athletes are pivotal to the WolfPack’s success. Facilities also play a large role.

In 2023, the Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund (KSLF) gifted the TRU WolfPack with its largest-ever donation — $500,000 — equipping the university’s new varsity high-performance athletics centre in the upper mezzanine of the TRU Gym. KSLF donated $375,000 to the athletics centre and $125,000 to student awards and scholarships.

TRU Athletics utilizes facilities both on campus at the TRU Gym and at the neighbouring Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) and Hillside Stadium. While use of the state-of-the-art TCC is ideal for practice and game play, sharing space for strength and training facilities was an ongoing challenge. Scheduling and time limitations, a lack of physical space and limited equipment all hindered student athletes’ training potential.

The Sports Legacy Fund High Performance Training Centre, completed in 2023, has significantly expanded training opportunities for WolfPack athletes. TRU invested $1.3 million in the renovations and hired a full-time head coach, strength and conditioning for the space. KSLF’s donation outfitted the 156-square-metre space with lifting stations, speed-work tracks and other equipment.

“This contribution from the Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund will help TRU student athletes develop on and off the field of play to reach their full potential,” says Curtis Atkinson, TRU director of athletics and recreation. “This facility will also make it easier to recruit top athletes to the WolfPack and take our athletics program to a new level.”

This isn’t the first time the KSLF has supported the TRU WolfPack. Since 2011, the fund has provided the TRU WolfPack with donations that, up to present, amount to $250,000.

KSLF executive director Bob Smillie says the organization has long supported the WolfPack and this is an opportunity to help TRU Athletics continue providing a top student-athlete experience.

“A major goal of the society is to strengthen sport organizational capacities. The grant represents a true legacy for the WolfPack, the university as a whole and the City of Kamloops and region. It is a most worthy investment at an opportune time,” he says.

Fear the Wolf

IN THE ULTRA-COMPETITIVE RECRUITING world, scholarships are a significant factor for prospective student-athletes when choosing a school. Supporting them through awards or bursaries has an immediate impact by giving students a chance to pursue their education and their athletics.

When students-athletes are supported, success follows. Such was the case in November 2022 when the TRU WolfPack men’s soccer team earned its first U SPORTS National Championship in program and school history with a 2-1 victory over the UBC Thunderbirds in front of 2,400 fans at Hillside Stadium. TRU proudly hosted the championship with RBC as the title sponsor. Donors provide nearly $140,000 for student-athlete awards and scholarships annually.

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