UNB track and field to compete at CIS level
FREDERICTON, NB - The University of New Brunswick (UNB) today
announced that it will introduce a UNB Varsity Reds track and field
program in fall 2010, the first-ever such program to be based on
UNB's Saint John campus.
Like the other Varsity Reds programs based on the Fredericton campus, the track and field program will compete at the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) levels, which are the highest levels of varsity sport in Canada.
Both men and women will be eligible to participate in the Varsity Reds track and field program. Though based in Saint John, UNB students from Fredericton may also participate, reflecting a similar arrangement for Saint John students wishing to participate in Varsity Reds programs on the Fredericton campus. UNB's CIS-level presence on its two main campuses is a rare, if not unique, model in Canada.
"We have worked closely with the athletics directors on both of our campuses and members of the Saint John community to make this happen," said John McLaughlin, outgoing president of UNB. "It's been a real partnership.
"With the upcoming refurbishment of the Canada Games Stadium on the Saint John campus, it is the perfect time to begin building a university track and field program of the highest calibre in Saint John."
Robert MacKinnon, vice-president of UNB Saint John, said the introduction of a CIS program in Saint John will further enhance the Saint John Seawolves athletics program and its overall plans for campus growth, student appeal and community engagement.
"The introduction of a Varsity Reds program in Saint John is yet another important development for our campus," said Dr. MacKinnon. "This will join the inauguration of Dalhousie's medical education program in fall 2010 and the arrival of NBCC Saint John's Allied Health Centre in fall 2011.
"The program will help boost student recruitment and the quality of the overall student experience at UNB Saint John."
The Varsity Reds track and field program also fits with the continuum of high-performance club and varsity sports on the two campuses, as reflected in UNB's athletics strategic plan. The program will be managed in partnership by Kevin Dickie, director of athletics for UNB Fredericton, and David Munro, director of athletics for UNB Saint John.
Track and field, a winter sport, will work hand-in-hand with the fall cross-country teams in both Fredericton and Saint John. The team will complement the overall Varsity Reds program, UNB's high-performance club teams and the six Saint John Seawolves teams that represent UNB Saint John at the Canadian College Athletics Association (CCAA) level: men's and women's basketball; men's and women's soccer; and men's and women's volleyball.
UNB officials will finalize the program's details over the next year, and will submit the formal program applications to the AUS and CIS in spring 2010.
Established in 1785, UNB is one of the oldest public universities in North America. It's also one of the top five comprehensive universities in Canada, according to Maclean's magazine. UNB has more than 12,000 students from over 100 countries. As the largest research institution in New Brunswick, UNB conducts 80 per cent of the province's university research. It has more than 3,500 faculty and staff, and an annual operating budget of more than $160 million. UNB's two main campuses are located in Fredericton and Saint John, N.B.
Maureen Sparks, Coordinator
UNB Varsity Reds Athletics Coordinator