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UBC announces initial sport review results and increased varsity funding

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The University of British Columbia announced the stage one results of its sport review, with 16 of the current 29 varsity teams securing their status for the coming years. At the end of February following a second stage assessment, a number of other teams are expected to be added. No team has been excluded after stage one.

“Overall, advisory assessment team members were consistent in their evaluations and we are basing our decision on their findings,” said Vice President, Student Louise Cowin. “The process has been revealing and is leading us to boost financial support for the teams.”

Cowin said as of April 2014, the university will direct an additional $500,000 to varsity athletics and $300,000 to the Department of Athletics and Recreation. The total $800,000 annual increase includes a $300,000 contribution to the Millennium Scholarship Breakfast, announced last November.

The teams to secure varsity status after stage one include men’s and women’s basketball, swimming and rowing, as well as women’s volleyball.

“These 16 teams balance men and women’s, as well as individual and team sports,” said Ashley Howard, managing director of Athletics and Recreation. ”The review showed us their strengths but also provides us with a roadmap to needed improvements.”

The remaining 13 varsity teams and some interested Alma Mater Society sports clubs have been invited to the second stage assessment, to conclude in late February.

“Another month of uncertainty will be difficult for many,” said Howard. “But we need to keep our eye on the prize: higher achievement for our varsity teams, a top-notch experience for our student athletes and a sustainable future for the UBC Thunderbirds.”

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