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Ashley Howard’s


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Editor Don Wells Assistant Editor Steve Tuckwood

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BLUE+ GOLD is published twice a year by the UBC Department of Athletics and is distributed free of charge to UBC Alumni and friends.


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272 – 6081 University Blvd. Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1

Volume 9, Issue 2 • Printed in Canada by RR Donnelley Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #41473026

On the Cover }

Scores, news & event info:

UBC’s new Managing Director Athletics, Ashley Howard.

c o ve r p h o t o b y ma r t i n d ee

Message from the president


reetings - Kla how ya! – to all UBC alumni and friends, and welcome to what promises to be another terrific season of UBC Thunderbird competition. In the last issue of Blue and Gold, I anticipated that discussions would continue among CIS university presidents concerning our shared commitment to invoking change to enhance excellence in Canadian university sport, and in particular, change that would reduce the numbers of Canadian student-athletes currently pursuing their ambitions at US universities. I also stated that I was hopeful that proposals for pilot projects to further this objective would soon emerge. I am pleased to report progress on both fronts. Based on recommendations from the final report of the Canada West Task Force issued in 2012, a proposal for a pilot project is indeed before us. The proposal focuses on women’s ice hockey, a sport in which US universities have been particularly successful in attracting large numbers of our best and brightest from across Canada. I am also pleased to report that a substantial amount of time has been set aside for CIS university presidents to discuss and vote upon the proposal at a special meeting of CIS to be held in October in conjunction with a meeting of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Having reviewed the proposal, I am of the view that it represents a significant and positive step forward, specifically by increasing the amount of financial aid that student-athletes would be eligible to receive, and by imposing fewer eligibility restrictions upon those seeking to return to Canada from the USA to enter CIS competition, among other positive developments such as the commitment of Hockey Canada to participate with CIS in developing high performance programming if the proposal proceeds. While I cannot anticipate with any degree of certainty whether or not the proposal will be approved, I am confident that the upcoming review and discussions represent the most encouraging progress to date with respect to invoking meaningful change to the status quo


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within CIS sport, which my colleagues and I have agreed is no longer acceptable. In related news, I invite all alumni to join me in warmly welcoming Ashley Howard, UBC’s recently appointed Managing Director, Athletics. Given the changes taking shape in Canadian university sport, and Ashley’s record of successfully managing transformation in both private sector and high-performance sport organizations, she is indeed well positioned to lead the robust processes required to navigate the challenges and pursue the opportunities that lay ahead. She leads an already highly accomplished team of coaches and staff, and I have great confidence in their continued success. I would also like to thank Louise Cowin, Vice President Students, for the extraordinary work she has done to consult widely with a range of alumni, students, faculty, staff and independent experts, who generously provided their time and input to last year’s review of Athletics and Recreation, and to the more recent discussions that have resulted in a framework for a new competitive sport model at UBC. The process of refining this model is currently under way, and I invite and encourage all interested members of our university community to take part. More information is available on the UBC Athletics Department home page, www. Finally, I wish all of our student-athletes great success in their studies and in their competitive pursuits in the 2013-14 season, and I look forward to joining all of you in cheering them on. Go Birds Go! Stephen J. Toope President and Vice-Chancellor The University of British Columbia

LockerRoom Season Preview

The 2013-14 varsity season is underway and UBC Thunderbirds athletes and coaches are looking to improve on the six national championships and eight conference titles they captured last year. At the same time, Thunderbird players are trying to win distinction as Academic All-Canadians by maintaining a grade point average of 80 per cent or higher in the classroom. Last year, 128 athletes achieved this feat. UBC’s football, field hockey, soccer, golf, rugby and cross country teams are all in the midst of regular season action. The Thunderbirds’ women’s field hockey and cross country teams won their respective national championships last fall, while men’s golf took home the Golf Canada Championship in the spring. The Thunderbirds’ basketball, hockey, volleyball teams are getting ready for their season openers in October and November. The fall portion of the rowing season will culminate with the national championships in November. Both hockey teams will head stateside for exhibition matchups against NCAA Division One schools before starting Canada West play. The women’s team will tour Minnesota for the first time since 1997, with games against Minnesota, St. Cloud State and Minnesota State as well as the Japanese Olympic team (Sept. 27-30). UBC will raise its conference championship banner on the weekend of Oct. 11-12 when its hosts the Calgary team it beat last spring for the Canada West title. The men’s squad, with a host of blue-chip recruits joining a roster that will boast the Canada West’s leading goal scorer from last season (Cole Wilson), will head north for games at Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks (Oct. 4-5). Two weeks later, on Oct. 18-19, UBC will host Regina in the home-opening series for the team. Another member of the McGuinness clan will don a Thunderbird uniform this season as Andrew McGuinness, brother of former women’s basketball star Erica and son of former football player, Shaun, will suit up for the defending Canada West champion men’s basketball team. He will join a relatively young group of players who have already experienced success at the conference level. UBC will host a four-team pre-season tournament Oct. 10-12. The first Canada West home games for UBC basketball will take place Nov. 8-9. The Thunderbird women’s squad should continued on page 6 UBC’s Shanice Marcelle carries the flag for Team Canada in the opening ceremonies of the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia. P h o t o b y F r ee s t y l e P h o t o g r ap h y

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also provide a lot of excitement during the 201314 season as conference MVP Kris Young returns for her fourth season. One of the players projected to start games with Young is Surrey native and University of Nebraska transfer Harleen Sidhu. The Thunderbirds women’s volleyball team, winners of the last six CIS titles, will co-host the West Coast Classic, Oct. 6, before commencing its title defence on Oct. 25 at Trinity Western. The same two schools will battle in UBC’s home opener at War Memorial Gym the next night, when the Thunderbirds will host another banner-raising ceremony. The men’s team, with three players who played for Canada’s junior national team over the summer, will once again host the Thunderball tournament on Oct. 18-19 before starting its season on the same dates as the women. The swim teams will have dual meets against Toronto and Calgary in the lead up to the CIS championships in Toronto in late February. The program will also honour its past coaches in an alumni event on Nov. 16, with the annual alumni meet going the day before. Led by two-time CIS Female Swimmer of the Year, Savannah King, the UBC women are looking to win their third straight Canadian championship, and their 13th in 16 years. For a complete listing of UBC Thunderbirds events, please visit You can also connect with the program on Twitter at @ UBCTBirds.


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continued from page 5

Newbie coaches debut

UBC Thunderbird teams welcomed an impressive list of names to their coaching rosters in the offseason. Former Alberta Golden Bear head football coach Jerry Friesen is already well into his first year on Point Grey as full time assistant coach and defensive coordinator. A former CIS Coach of the Year, Friesen brings a wealth of experience from over 25 years of coaching in the CIS and CFL. A native of Rosthern, Saskatchewan, he coached for 10 years at Alberta, where on two occasions he led the Bears to 7-1 regular seasons and to three straight Hardy Cup Finals (2003-05). In 2004 he won the Frank Tindalll trophy as the CIS Coach of the Year. During his playing days Friesen played linebacker with the University of Saskatchewan where he was a two-time All-Canadian, and eight years in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders. Friesen joined the coaching ranks when he retired as a player returning to his alma mater as the team’s defensive coordinator and helping the Huskies to their first Vanier Cup championship in 1990. First-year women’s soccer coach Andrea Neil made her regular season coaching debut September 7 in a scoreless draw against defending CIS champion and top-ranked Trinity Western. Neil, a UBC graduate and former Thunderbirds standout, is one of the most decorated soccer players Canada has ever produced, with 132 appearances in a Canadian jersey and representing

Previous page, Savannah King at the FINA World Championships, photo by Ian McNicol, Swimming Canada. This page, clockwise from above: Rachael Sawer; running back Brandon Deschamps; Will Hyde; 2012 All Canadian and Pan American Cup team member Kate Gillis. P h o t o s b y R i c h a r d Lam

her country at four World Cups. While she often worked as a coach throughout her playing career, she turned to the profession full time following her retirement as an athlete in 2007. Meanwhile, Maria Gallo will make her regular season debut just a few hundred metres away on September 22 as the new coach for the Thunderbirds women’s rugby team. The native of Guelph has been UBC’s assistant coach for the past two years and guided the Thunderbirds squad at the Rugby Canada National Invitational University Sevens Championship this past spring. She is also currently the backs coach for the B.C. Senior Provincial Women’s Team, a physiologist and strength and condition coach for Canada’s two senior women’s rugby teams as well as a consultant for B.C.’s Provincial Para-Alpine Team. From 1999 to 2010, she was a member of the Canadian Women’s Senior Sevens National Team and the Canadian Women’s Senior 15s team from 2008 to 2010. A multi-talented athlete, Gallo was also a member of Canada’s National Bobsleigh Team for two years (2003-04). She played at the varsity level for the University of Alberta, where she not only completed a PhD in Muscle/Exercise Biochemistry, but also earned Canada West and CIS Most Valuable Player awards in 2002. War Memorial Gym is not an unfamiliar place to recently appointed full-time assistant basketball

coach Spencer McKay, who played for the Victoria Vikes in numerous epic encounters against the Thunderbirds, including the 1987 Canada West final in which a point guard named Kevin Hanson and a sharp-shooting freshman named J.D. Jackson led UBC to a thrilling two-game victory over the reigning seven time national champions. The five-time Canada West All-Star and three-time All-Canadian remains the Vikes’ all-time leading scorer, averaging 18.4 points per game during his career. Following his time in the CIS, McKay went on to play 16 years abroad in Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, and Taiwan. He also was a member of the Canadian national team for 10 years (1985-1995). While his team’s season is still a few months away, UBC Science and Education alumnus Gord Collings is already preparing his women’s softball team for the 2014 season which begins in February with the usual pre-season US encounters. A former teacher and administrator in the Delta school system for 33 years, Collings most recently was the head coach at Douglas College for five seasons, leading the Royals to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Championship Final in 2013. He takes over a UBC program that is entering its fifth year of existence and is coming off its best season ever, finishing the year 25-21. Over the summer he led Team BC to a gold-medal finish at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec. ;

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Means of (and what it means) By Steve Tuckwood Associate Director, Development


hanks for your continued support!

Being the most decorated program in the history of Canadian University Sport did not happen by accident (UBC: 87 national championships; Toronto: 78; Alberta: 64). Athletes who have proudly worn the Blue and Gold of the UBC Thunderbirds have had the support of our 10,000 alumni as fans, volunteers, mentors and donors. From April 2012 to March 2013, more than 2,500 people, many of whom are former T-Birds, made a donation to the varsity program. That is an incredible number. Thank you. As we launch the season of 2013-14, we thought it important to acknowledge your support and to let you know that your contributions help with everything from providing a new Big Block Sweater; to funding international opportunities for competition; to building the best athletic facilities in Canada, to providing scholarships to recruit the best and brightest student-athletes to UBC. The athletes and coaches cannot succeed without you. The UBC Development Office recently completed research from fiscal years 2009-2012, showing that the average donation from a UBC alumnus/alumna was $193; while the average donation for a varsity alumnus/alumna was $576; three times the amount.

Ways to give While the most obvious way to support the

Thunderbirds is through a gift of cash, it is not the only way. The following is a summary of ways you can make a financial contribution to the UBC Thunderbirds. – all donations to UBC are 100% tax deductible. Many donors, in higher tax brackets, will receive a tax credit of almost 44 cents for every dollar donated. The program gets one dollar and your out-of-pocket cost is about 56 cents.

Gifts of cash

– Beginning this year, a first-time donor, or one who has not made a donation since 2008, is eligible for a further tax credit of a possible 25%, bringing your tax credit to a minimum of 40%. Your donation of $200 to the program could equate to just $120 in out-of-pocket cost.

Gifts of shares – these donations are also 100% deductible. Additionally, should the shares have increased in value, you would avoid capital gains tax on the shares by donating them. In some cases the cost to the donor after tax can be less than 50 cents on every dollar while the program receives the full benefit of the gift.

– do you own a business or have access to products that the programs might be purchasing already? UBC can provide tax receipts for the value of the goods provided we have a use for them

Gifts in Kind

Gifts of Life Insurance – if your dependents are grown up and your need for having life insurance is not the same as it once was, you could donate the policy to UBC. This would have an immediate and tangible benefit and you would see the results in the academic and athletic growth of a Thunderbird athlete right before your eyes.

For answers related to any of the above information, or if you need a ticket to a Thunderbird game, please contact me via the contact information below. I would be greatly interested to know about your experience as a Thunderbird and how we might work together to continue to build and enhance Canada’s most decorated varsity program. ;

Our team

call us, we would love to hear from you. • Steve Tuckwood, Director of Development, Athletics and recreation T: 604-822-1972 E: • John Foster, Assoc. Director of Development, Athletics and recreation T: 604-822-6632 E: • Steve Bell-Irving, Development Coordinator T: 604-822-6183 E:

*** First time donor super credit


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• Chris Ufford, Development Coordinator (returning in January) T: 604-827-5215 E: • Michelle Lindsay, Manager of Alumni Relations T: 604-827-3081 E:


News ; notes from the big block club

Ashby goes global UBC grad Dawn Ashby and her ICS Addis volleyball team cool off after a 2010 tournament victory in Tanzania.

Dawn Ashby’s career as a teacher and coach has unfolded in remarkable ways in an extraordinary place. After receiving her teaching certification and a Master’s degree in the USA, the 1994 UBC Science graduate and former Thunderbird basketball player took a “sight unseen” chance on an international teaching post in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union and home to numerous embassies. She now is in her 11th year at ICS (International Community School) Addis where she teaches Middle School Math and Science to the children of diplomatic staff and NGO workers who hail from over 50 countries around the world. She also coaches the senior girls’ volleyball and basketball teams, and says that her coaching philosophy focuses on helping her international roster of student-athletes find an important educational balance between on-court training and experiential learning in a world just beyond the schoolyard gates, in which the privileged are few and the desperate are many. By offering the right combination of learning experiences, the Vancouver native is determined to help them become even stronger women and even more successful as future international leaders.

Some of the team’s off-court activities are what one might expect, such as visiting government-run junior schools and running volleyball and basketball clinics for kids with comparatively little exposure to team sports. But there are also activities in which the experiences are even more profoundly eye-opening, such as the time one of her players organized an outreach initiative aimed at women who had recently returned from Middle Eastern countries where many had been abused for years since childhood and all but enslaved as household servants. “In most cases these women have no education and left home when they were 11 or 12” she explains. “They return with culture shock and in need of mental and emotional healing. We went and did yoga stretches with them and fun games and just tried to interact with them in a positive way and get them feeling like people again.”

Ashby is not certain what the future will bring for her and her husband Alessandro, a fellow teacher at the school and their young son Julian, but for now she is content to live a simple life and to provide support for less privileged community members through her work with her students and personal “The kids are super unique with a lot of potential,” contributions to families in need. “I love the place says Ashby. “Many speak different languages and get deeply,” she says with conviction. “The Ethiopian accepted at some the best universities in the world. But people are open, generous and hospitable. And they they need to see both sides of where they are and the have great coffee.” continued on page 16 stark contrast between the haves and the have-nots.”

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Ashley Howard’s Long Journey

Home By Don Wells


h, the twists of fate.

If you told Ashley Howard 20 years ago she would one day return to her home town to become UBC’s Managing Director of Athletics, she might have laughed. A career in sport administration was not something the Lord Byng High School graduate could have imagined back when she enrolled in the Faculty of Science at Queen’s University, rather than the forested campus down the street. }} p h o t o b y ma r t i n d ee

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My personal belief is t focused culture is key

}} Such an idea was still out of scope when she

graduated from Queen’s, as it was when she began an MBA in International Business at the University of Victoria. Not even a lifelong interest in competitive sport, or her experience as co-captain of the Canada’s National Women’s Ultimate Team that won the 2000 World Championship in Germany piqued any such thought or interest. And it certainly wasn’t within her field of vision when she became a product management and mergers and acquisitions manager with an IT firm during the rise and fall of the dot com era. Even when she moved to Scotland and put her business transformation skills to work in a highperformance sport environment, she still hadn’t considered a career in university sport. But after 12 years as a senior leader in two of Scotland’s leading sport organizations, she began to think about a new challenge. As a mother of two toddlers with family back in Vancouver, she also began to think about “back home.” When she and her husband - a design engineer she met during an undergraduate exchange year at Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde – contemplated bundling up the family to explore uncharted adventures in Vancouver, they got excited. And it was only after arriving back home that the opportunity she has today came into frame. “The Managing Director, Athletics job was one of the first that caught my eye on my return to Vancouver. I was meeting with senior executives from a number of industries, and on many occasions, folk from my network independently flagged the UBC opportunity. I had already been working on my application.” Not surprisingly, UBC isn’t an unfamiliar place to her. Why would it be to a perennial honours student who grew up just beyond its gates? She learned to swim at the UBC Aquatic Centre as a child, and as a teenager, she attended summer tennis and volleyball camps at UBC and “hung out a bit.” She later worked for three consecutive summers on Point Grey while studying at Queen’s. “I worked with a UBC professor of medical

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that the creation of a cohesive and strategically y to the success of any organization... genetics on coding the number eight chromosome, and I also did a bit of research in the areas of philosophy and ethics,” she says with genuine modesty and just a hint of Scottish brogue. Needless to say, a great deal has changed at UBC since those days. It looks different, feels different, and in almost every way, it is different than it was in the 1990’s. After rigorous adherence to a strategic plan implemented just over a decade ago, UBC has today earned a reputation commensurate with the many of the world’s most respected research universities. Its ongoing evolution now includes a process of reimagining Athletics and Recreation within the context of its current strategic commitments, with an eye to sharpening the focus upon certain teams within the current 29-sport portfolio in order to enhance competitive success and ensure long-term financial sustainability. An external review conducted in the spring of 2012, followed by a series of “think-tank” sessions involving a cross-section of campus representatives, athletic department coaches and staff, and a handful of independent experts, has resulted in a framework for a new competitive sport model, and one that Howard is mandated with refining and implementing - quite immediately. The process will continue to be highly consultative, but with the understanding that the overarching objectives are to maintain a focus on athletic excellence; establish greater connectivity to strategic partners; engage a wider university community than ever before, and enhance student learning and professional development opportunities for coaches and staff wherever possible. Invariably, the task of refining what the UBC Athletics and Recreation program will look like in the months and years ahead will involve change and all of the attendant challenges and strain that go along with it. But Howard stresses that the ultimate desired outcome is to build upon UBC’s historical strengths to create a more focused “Made in Canada” brand of university sport excellence while ensuring an all-encompassing structure flourishes for those sports at the


intramural and club levels. And while the potential for deep change indeed lies in the future, she is determined that some of the most fundamental values and principles that underpin those changes will be drawn squarely from the past. “I am proud to say that I am captivated on an ethical and emotional level by the legend of the Thunderbird and the notion of ‘Victory through honour,’” she says. “We’ll never have to look for a guiding principle; we already have one, and it will be one of the key pillars for everything we do and every decision we make. My personal belief is that the creation of a cohesive and strategically focused culture is key to the success of any organization, and that an environment of integrity, fairness and inclusivity is the most essential element within that culture, especially one undergoing change and transformation.” Fortunately for UBC, Howard brings substantial experience in leading sports organizations through periods of change and transformation. Most recently, she served as CEO of Scottish Swimming, where she helped lead the organization through a period of impressive growth and achievement, taking the organization from a staff of eight to 40, including a three-fold increase in the number of paid coaches, certified teachers and trained volunteers. The payoff was huge in terms of grassroots participation numbers and increased government investment (the organization’s budget tripled under her lead), not to mention an unprecedented increase in podium finishes, highlighted by a silver medal for Michael Jamieson at the 2012 Olympic Games, the first for a Scottish swimmer since 1996. Prior to joining Scottish Swimming, she held the position of Director of Achieving Excellence for sportscotland, the national agency for sport. In this role she was responsible for a $30m annual budget and the vision for multi-sport performance and high-performance sport development. Through a rigorous review of operational practices and approaches to partnerships, she successfully merged two teams with similar performance }}

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Some people are saying that I’m not about winning. But that’s just shite.


targets but completely different income sources, processes and cultures. Her leadership expanded from the integration of the performance process to a new whole-sport planning system across the entire pathway for each sport, underpinning a strategy to achieve ambitious national performance medal targets on the world stage.

UBC’s new competitive sport model, she explains, is founded on the reorganization of current UBC varsity and club teams into five new strands. The first strand will be comprised of sports that either are, or have the potential to be, developmentally linked to national teams, international competition or professional teams; the second strand will include all sports that are primarily focused on interuniversity (varsity) competition, and the third will be comprised of competitive club teams. The fourth will support clubs at the community level and the final strand will support intramural sport. Howard has already completed the initial task of consulting with stakeholders and independent experts to arrive at appropriate criteria – and the importance of each- to determine how sports will be targeted for placement into one of the five strands. The next step, she explains, is to consult with a wider community throughout the fall, most notably alumni, students and strategic partners to support an evaluation of each sport against the criteria. She emphasizes that it will be a robust process that includes regular consultation and communication and is open to revision based on quality information and discussion. She will then present recommendations to Louise Cowin, UBC’s Vice-President Students on the new structure, including the level of support provided within each strand. Pending Cowin’s approval, the new structure will be implemented early in 2014. While she rolls out the consultation process, another committee is exploring the potential to offer a comprehensive wellness program for the wider campus community. “That is something that is still in the developmental stages, but no matter how it takes shape, we know it will be a critical agenda going forward,” she says. “Winning, leadership, resilience, teamwork—these are all

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core sporting traits, and they are all embraced by a UBC vision to be the healthiest campus on earth.” While a new approach to wellness is in its early phases, Howard’s sleeves are already rolled up well past the elbows on the task of refining the competitive sport model and the sport targeting review. Those that opt to take part in the consultations will pleasantly encounter an articulate leader of noticeable intelligence, and one whose success is, according to those who know her well, built on a collaborative spirit, superb communication skills and a natural empathy for what is important to others. She says she is a “softy” at heart, but extensive realworld experience within private and public sector environments has given her both the wisdom and the willingness to do what is necessary when change is imperative. A fierce competitive spirit that lays just one or two epidermal layers below doesn’t hurt either. “Some people are saying that I’m not about winning,” she says with a laugh, and in that mild brogue. “But that’s just shite.” ;

An invitation to all UBC Thunderbird Alumni Meet Ashley Howard, Managing Director, UBC Athletics October 3; 4:00-7:00 pm Gerald McGavin Rugby Centre UBC Vancouver campus Light refreshments served



Anniversaries for 2013 Spring/Summer 1948 (65 YEARS)

1993-94 (20 years)

Spring/Summer 1948 (65 years) UBC men’s basketball team comprises the majority (nine players) of the team representing Canada at the 1948 London Olympic Games. Coached by Bob Osborne, the Thunderbirds won the national qualifying tournament final by defeating Montreal’s Young Men’s Hebrew Association, which contributed the remainder of Canada’s roster of players. • Spring 1963 (50 years) The UBC men’s hockey team reaches the CIS final. The 1962-63 team, coached by Father David Bauer, is led by the play of future NHL players Ken Broderick and Barry McKenzie, along with Mickey McDowell, Dave Chambers, Terry O’Malley and Peter Kelly and reach the championship final game before losing 3-2 to McMaster. • Spring 1963 (50 years) UBC men’s volleyball team wins its first Western Canadian university championship, coached by Les Heron. • Spring 1973 (40 years) UBC women’s volleyball team wins its first CIS national title. Coached by Marilyn Pomfret, the team is led by UBC Female Athlete of the Year Maureen Fishleigh and future Olympian Betty Baxter. • 1972-73 (40 years) UBC women’s swim team wins its first CIS national championship. Coached by Jack Pomfret, the team features 1973 Female Athlete of the Year Award winner Karen James. • April 30, 1993 (20 years) The inaugural UBC Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It is the beginning of UBC’s formal recognition of its greatest teams, athletes and builders of sport. • May 2003 (10 years) UBC wins its first Canadian university (invitational) golf title. The team is coached by Chris MacDonald and paced by the play of Jana Haggins, Morgan Lederhouse and Jill McAuley. • September 27, 1978 (35 years) UBC’s Aquatic Centre is officially opened. • 1993-94 (20 years) UBC wins its first and only men’s CIS cross-country team national title. Coached by Marek Jedrzejek, the seven-man team features international competitors Jeff Schiebler and Graeme Fell. • November 18, 1978 (35 years) Under the coaching of Frank Smith, UBC makes its first-ever appearance in the Vanier Cup. C o mp i l e d b y U B C At h l e t i c s h i s t o r i a n F r e d Hume

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News ; notes from the big block club continued from page 9

Finch honoured on retirement

A crowd of well over a thousand was on hand at the Westin Bayshore back in in June at a UBC Faculty of Law event to celebrate the career of The Honourable Chief Justice Lance Finch on the occasion of his retirement from the British Columbia Court of Appeal. The after-dinner speakers included fellow UBC rowing alumnus Bob Falconer, who presented Finch with a Big Block sweater with the following declaration: “Chief Justice, as we both know, the experience of rowing in an eight-oared shell under the watchful eye of that legendary coach, Frank Read, was an experience that might euphemistically be termed as ‘character building’ such that any experience in later life before even the most daunting panel of our Court of Appeal was, by comparison, a piece of cake!” The Honourable Chief Justice subsequently confided to UBC Athletics Associate Director, Steve Tuckwood, that his time as a UBC crew member was short-lived, but nonetheless memorable. He also explained that while he had indeed been under the watchful eye of Frank Read, his coach was in fact one of Read’s top oarsmen in earlier years. “Our coach was the late David Helliwell, who rowed in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne,” recalled Finch in a note to Tuckwood. “One day Dave got Frank to come down to Coal Harbour to have a look at his boys, and give him an assessment. Later, Dave told me that Frank said of me: ‘Well, he’s got nothing on the end of his oar, but I’d keep him in the boat; he’s got a face that will scare the opposition!’ I think that pretty well sums up my illustrious rowing career.”

T-Bird grid grads, CFL pros team up for sustainability

Former grid Bird Dustin Cherniawski may have retired from the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but his life is greener today than it was back in 2007 when he was a free safety on the Roughriders Grey Cup champion team. It was in that same year that he co-founded Evergreen Sports Programming Ltd, a company devoted to helping professional sports teams to operate more sustainably and to promote sustainability in their community endeavours. One of the firm’s first clients was the CFL players Association, which undertook a player-driven education program in elementary schools in all CFL cities. Former UBC team mates and CFL pros Julian Radlein, Sandy Beveridge (Hamilton) and Javier Glatt (BC, Edmonton) joined the effort by delivering a carefully designed presentation for elementary school-aged children on the need to “rethink, reduce,

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Bob Falconer (left) presents Big Block sweater to retiring Chief Justice Finch.

reuse and recycle.” An industrial impact mitigation specialist, Radlein is currently a vice-president with Evergreen Sports Programming and president of SymbiAudit, a Vancouver-based consulting firm that specializes in integrated resource management, integrated building engineering and sustainable business strategy Cherniawski later moved to the Middle East where he established GreenWave Capital, investing in best-in-class green technologies and bringing them to market in the Middle East. Five years later, with offices in the United States, United Arab Emirates, India, Ireland and the United Kingdom, the company markets green products and technologies worldwide. But the 2005 Sauder School graduate hasn’t turned his back on football altogether. Rather remarkably, he is now in his second year as General Manager of the Emirates American Football League, a community-based organization that administers and supports adult and youth teams in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai.


News ; notes from the big block club

Silverman’s slush on fire

Thunderbird football alumnus Zack Silverman has put his New York City law career on ice and successfully kicked off a frozen slush beverage business with another former lawyer he met when both were first-year associates with a large Manhattan firm. Today their Kelvin Natural Slush Company serves up gazillions of uber-delicious frozen slushies daily from an expanding fleet of “Big Blue Trucks” all over NYC, and at Whole Foods Markets coffee bars in eight US states. The popular products are also available in alcoholic versions at select bars and restaurants in the Big Apple, including Madison Square Gardens and the iconic Beacon Theatre. Beginning with a solitary 2000 Chevy truck with brand markings designed by Silverman’s former Thunderbird team mate and Vancouver-based design guru Aaron Harowitz, the former legal beagles hit the streets in the sweaty summer of 2010 and have made big gains ever since. The key to being in the sweet spot appears to be the strict use of only the highest quality all-natural ingredients without any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and smaller toned-down serving cups more suited for office environments than the big neon colored convenience store brands. The drinks are made with pure filtered water, all natural cane sugar and other natural sweeteners, and are completely customizable by combining Kelvin’s classic slush flavors (ie: “Spicy Ginger, Tangy Citrus, Green Tea”) with one or more natural mix-ins like fresh chopped mint and basil or a variety of real fruit purées. In spite of its rapid growth, numerous food industry awards, and increasing profile (recently featured on CNN), the company does not offer franchise opportunities and remains in the control of Silverman and business partner Alex Rein, with all design, branding and advertising work artfully handled by Harowtiz, a UBC Arts graduate who later studied design at Emily Carr University. Silverman played football at UBC from 2000 to 2002 while completing a combined MBA and Law degree.

the Raptors Basketball Academy and various clinics throughout Canada. He was named director of basketball operations for NBA Asia in 2009 and oversaw the League’s clinics, youth programs and elite-level development from his base in Hong Kong. Mahlalela played four seasons for UBC, graduating in 2004 with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree. The former T-Bird captain served as president of the Thunderbird Athletes Council and athlete representative to the University Athletic Council. He has also devoted considerable time and energy to supporting children’s causes in the African country of Swaziland, where he was born.

Watson named interim head coach for Earthquakes

2013 UBC Sports Hall of Fame inductee Mark Watson’s home town wasn’t particularly welcoming when he arrived here in August for his first game in Vancouver as interim head coach of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. The Whitecaps prevented the Quakes from registering a fourth consecutive win after scoring two goals late in the game to blank San Jose 2-0. Watson got off to a good start in his first game as the interim head coach, guiding his squad to a 2-1 road victory over the Colorado Rapids. It was the first match as a head coach at the professional level for Watson, who had been an assistant coach in San Jose since 2010 and was named as the interim bench boss on June 7. The notoriously hard-nosed defender was part of three CIS Championship winning UBC teams in the early 1990s and returned to Point Grey to finish his Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree in 2005. That same year, he served as an assistant on the CIS championship-winning Thunderbirds team led by his former UBC team mate Mike Mosher. From 1991 to 2004, he was a stalwart defender on Canada’s national team, earning 78 caps. He retired as a professional player in 2007, ending a 17-year career that included stints with Watford (England), Östers IF (Sweden), D.C. United and the Vancouver Whitecaps. He is one of four UBC Thunderbirds players to have played in MLS, joining Pat Onstad, Srdjan Djekanovic and Kent O’Connor.

Mahlalela moves up

The Toronto Raptors recently announced the promotion of T-Bird hoops alumnus Jama Mahlalela to assistant coach following two seasons working in the Raptors’ front-office as director of player development. He started with the Raptors on the community development staff in 2006, leading

Life’s still a beach for Allinger, Cordonier

Former Thunderbirds Leah Allinger and Liz Cordonier teamed up to win the 2013 Vancouver continued on page 18

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News ; notes from the big block club continued from page 17

Open beach volleyball tournament in August at Kits Beach. The top-ranked twosome heading into the event defeated Kathleen Brownlee and Andrea Petersen in straight sets (21-19, 21-18) in the final to claim the title. Along the way the pair beat current UBC player Briana Liau-Kent and former Thunderbird Katie Tyzuk. For their efforts Allinger and Cordonier won $3,300 in first place prize money. On the men’s side UBC men’s assistant coach and former player Matt Lebourdais teamed up with fellow Thunderbirds alum Jonathan Wiskar and finished in fourth place. UBC grad Doug Plumb. p h o t o

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Plumb begins pro career; Mckay uncovers historic treasure

After a stellar UBC career, Doug Plumb has signed a contract to play professionally in Hungary for four-time national champion Zalakerámia-ZTE KK. But he won’t be the first Thunderbird to suit up for ZTE KK. J.D. Jackson, the Thunderbirds’ all-time leading scorer, played for ZTE KK during the 199394 season alongside current T-Birds assistant coach Spencer McKay, who served as a point of contact between Plumb and the Hungarian club. Plumb joins several other UBC graduates already in the professional ranks, Nathan Yu (Hong Kong), Alex Murphy (Denmark), Matt Rachar (Austria), Kamar Burke (NBL-Canada) and Josh Whyte (NBLCanada). McKay has also turned out to be a point of contact with another former T-Bird hoops player, the late Ralph “Hunk” Henderson, or at least with his legacy as a POW during World War Two. Mckay admits to being a bit of a history nut, so when UBC Athletics historian Fred Hume told him about Henderson’s extraordinary life, including his lengthy imprisonment at the hands of Nazi guards, he did a bit of research on his own. He soon discovered an on-line blog - granpasjournal. - that contains scans of a journal that Lieutenant Henderson (AKA prisoner 3728) kept at Camp Stalag Luft III. Although the blog’s origins are unclear, it appears to have been posted by a grandchild of Henderson identified only as JAC. It contains poems, cartoon drawings, diary entries and a letter to Henderson’s family from the YMCA Prisoners of War Aid office in Geneva, informing them that he had been awarded a badge for athletic achievement and for “friendly and unselfish service to comrades in captivity.”

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UBC grads crowd the halls

Rare is the year that a BC Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet doesn’t witness the entry of somebody affiliated with UBC Athletics, but the September 19 event at the Vancouver Convention Centre features an inordinate number. Three-time Olympian and 2012 bronze medalist Swimmer Brent Hayden and former rugby great Robert “Ro” Hindson enter the hallowed hall in the Athlete category, while Canadian basketball’s royal couple, Ken and Kathy Shields, are the more-than-deserving 2013 honourees in the Builder category. Meanwhile, former Thunderbird swim coach, Masters swimming world record holder and recent UBC Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Jack Kelso, enters in the Team category along with other members of the 1965 Ocean Falls Amateur Swimming Club. A couple of months earlier and three provinces over, former Thunderbirds women’s volleyball coach Sandy Silver was inducted into Volleyball Canada’s Hall of Fame at an event in Mississauga, Ontario. In addition to countless volunteer and professional contributions, Silver has been the league convener for Canada West volleyball for the better part of 20 years. In 2012 she was a finalist for the “In Her Footsteps” award that celebrates B.C. women in sport, recognizing her lifetime of dedication and generosity as a player, official, coach, administrator, volunteer and ambassador for her sport. Silver coached the UBC women’s volleyball team to a CIAU national bronze medal in 1983 and served two years as assistant coach for Canada’s national team. Although his name is most often associated with the University of Alberta and its Golden Bears hockey teams, Clare Drake is in fact one of the first graduates of UBC’s School of Physical Education (1950) and a former Thunderbird who was inducted


News ; notes from the big block club

TFA Gala November 27

Harry Jones as a T-Bird, 2009. p h o t o

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along with team mates in 2000 into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame. Just weeks ago, Drake was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. In addition to the Bears, the long-time Edmonton resident coached with the Edmonton Oilers of the Western Hockey Association, and with the Canadian National Team, and has influenced countless coaches, players and modern coaching disciplines at all levels of the sport.

Stamhuis team conquers the channel

Swim team alumnus Michael Stamhuis and four other well-trained endurance swimmers successfully navigated the English Channel from Dover to Calais in early August. The long-time chief administrative officer for the District of Coldstream, Stamhuis swam for Jack Pomfret’s varsity team in the mid 1970’s while completing an engineering degree. Rotating one-hour swims, the five-member team from the Okanagan Masters Swim Club (“Okanagan Lake Monsters”) completed the gruelling 45-kilometre test of rough water, tides, commercial ships and jelly fish in 13 hours and 41 minutes. Once on the continent, Stamhuis and his wife Conny carried on to Torino, Italy and the World Masters Games Swim Championships, where each captured three gold medals. Football alumnus Hugh McKinnon also picked up a gold medal at the World Masters Games. The Comox Valley resident was part of the Canada West basketball team that went 7-0 in round robin play and then defeated Estonia 73-41 in the over-55 division final.

The Thunderbird Football Association is proud to announce that the second annual Thunderbird Football Gala at the River Rock Casino Resort. The event was a runaway success last year and promises to be another memorable evening that brings alumni and friends of the program together, honours former Thunderbird greats, and raises funds to support the ongoing drive towards football and academic excellence at UBC. As always, former all-star quarterback Dan Smith is calling the plays for the TFA, including the drive to make the gala an annual marquee event for UBC’s football community. Dan recently took a well-deserved spot in the BC Football Hall of Fame, along with UBC’s first-ever coach, the late and still legendary Doctor Gordon Burke. A transplanted American physician and proponent of football as a campus sport, Doc Burke coached the Blue and Gold for 12 seasons between 1925 and 1936. Coincidentally, 103-year-old Stephen Gittus reflected recently on his playing days as a quarterback under Burke. In an interview videotaped by his grandson-in-law Paul Clark back in June, Gittus recalled some amazing and absolutely true facts about varsity football circa 1928, including how that year marked the first season of football as a “major sport” on campus, much to the chagrin of the rugby fraternity of the day. Gittus also recalled assistant coach Norm Burley (who interestingly had a hand in launching the career of country music legend Loretta Lynn) and the names of several players who became campus legends for their gridiron efforts, including Oliver Camozzi, Vic Odlum and an American-born student named Charlie Wentworth, who was more familiar with the game than his Canadian team mates, and hence, the most reliable receiver. “He was the chief person we threw to…the only one who could catch it with certainty,” says Gittus, who also recalled that 1928 also marked the first year the forward pass was introduced to the game.

Jones, Hotson represent Canada

Former UBC Thunderbirds men’s rugby player Harry Jones suited up for Canada at the recent Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow. Jones also played with Canada’s XV during its 2013 IRB Pacific Nations Cup campaign. Tyler Hotson, meanwhile, saw action in the second game of Canada’s recent World Cup qualifying series win over the USA, meaning that the London Scottish FC lock will see his second World Cup tournament after playing for Canada in 2011. ;

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