The campus of Thompson Rivers University will be the backdrop of the CFL BC Lions training camp for the next two weeks. The Lions have moved their camp back into the Interior and are using the TRU Residences, Campus Activity Center along with the Tournament Capital Center and Hillside Stadium (the venues for TRU WolfPack Athletics) for their operations.
“Kamloops has been on our radar for a few years now,” said Lions Coach and General Manager Wally Buono. “We had a great relationship with the folks in Abbotsford so we weren’t looking for a new training camp home until the timing was right.”
BC Lions Training Camp
June 6 to 18
View practice times here
But what Kamloops and Thompson Rivers University had to offer was too good to pass up. “The most important factors are the combination of facilities and living arrangements,” Buono stated. “Some potential sites offer great living facilities but their dressing rooms, work out area, fields etc weren’t up to CFL standards while others have great practice facilities but the living arrangements leave something to be desired. Kamloops is now a perfect combination of both and we are happy to be here for at least the next three years.”
Buono added “We believe strongly that we represent the entire province and we owe it to folks across the province to bring training camp to their cities. We have worked hard in 2010 to secure more home games on weekend days which enable fans from the Interior to travel to Vancouver to see our games. We hope they take advantage of the fan friendly schedule.”
The Lions boss says coming to TRU and Kamloops plays a more significant role in his team’s formation and preparation for the 2010 season. “The stadium (Hillside), and more specifically, the field is exactly what we will be playing on at Empire Field. It’s a perfect way to prepare for the season. The stadium itself is excellent from the standpoint of securing equipment and giving our fans a great vantage point to take in practice. The Tournament Capital Center is probably one of the best all-inclusive facilities I have seen. The dressing areas and weight room are first rate and will be an extremely important part of our preparation. The residences are like staying in a hotel and when guys are coming here from the U.S., its great to provide them with all the amenities of home which remove distractions and allow them to perform at their best. When small details are looked after then everything else just falls into place.”
The Lions are bringing in close to 75 players for the camp. In addition, there will be 20-25 coaches, staff and associated personnel. “Training camp is the biggest single undertaking of our season and takes dozens of hours of planning each year,” Buono explained.
“We are happy we can assist the Lions in their training camp,” said TRU Athletic Director Ken Olynyk. “We look forward to helping them this year and for years to come.”
The Lions rookie camp will run for four days starting June 2nd at Hillside Stadium. Main Camp begins Sunday (June 6) with two-a-day workouts.
The Lions have a special day planned on June 12th where the public can meet the players and get autographs.