Pronghorn Athletics celebrates busiest weekend in history
Hosting a Canada West Championship automatically makes it a big weekend for Pronghorn Athletics but when another five teams are added to the mix, it makes for something even larger.
“It is a big weekend for us,” says Sandy Slavin, executive director of Sport and Recreation Services. “For the staff it will be busy but for the fans it will be fun and exciting.”
Beginning Friday, Oct. 22 and concluding Sunday afternoon, Oct. 24, the U of L campus will see 14 games contested, featuring five Pronghorns teams, all highlighted by the Canada West Women’s Rugby Championship.
“Because some of our seasons are so short in duration, at times it is hard to avoid these overlaps between teams,” says Slavin. “So for us to host 14 games in one three-day stretch, including a Canada West Championship, is a biggie.”
In addition to the women’s rugby program seeking its fourth consecutive Canada West title, Pronghorns men’s and women’s basketball teams are in action as they host their Canada West season openers. The Horns women’s hockey team invites University of Alberta Pandas to town for a pair of games and the men’s and women’s soccer programs each play two-game sets as they conclude their Canada West home schedules.
The only Horns team not playing on home soil is the men’s hockey team, which heads to Edmonton to play University of Alberta on the road.
“There is a lot of excitement in the office about it,” says Slavin. “We are fortunate we have a number of rugby alumni that have come forward and are helping us plan the Canada West banquet, as well as help out at the stadium during the games.
“A number of the girls registered in our Rugby Academy are also stepping forward to help as ball girls for the games.”
There will be a big alumni presence all weekend, and the opportunity to showcase U of L athletics facilities, all brimming with action, is the perfect way to showcase Pronghorn Athletics to the broader community.
Slavin says special ticketing prices are being offered to bring people to campus.
“We are offering some flexible ticketing packages to encourage people to get out to as many games as possible.”
University of Lethbridge Alumni are also eligible to purchase a weekend pass for $10, allowing them to attend any of the Pronghorn games. These passes can be picked up at the Sport and Recreation Department. There will also be a tailgate BBQ on Sunday at the University of Lethbridge Community Stadium.
“It should be a great weekend,” adds Slavin. “Our rugby team is the most successful team in the country the last three years and now they get an opportunity to showcase themselves at the new stadium in front of a hometown crowd. Everybody’s very excited about our basketball teams this year, so we expect enthusiastic crowds at the gym both nights, and the women’s hockey program continues moving forward and it’s always a great weekend when the Pandas come to town.”