On any given day, as the morning sun rises, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) athletes and early-rising fitness buffs fill the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) to start their day with a good workout. The facility is so popular, these enthusiastic exercisers can find themselves waiting to get access to the equipment they need.
While TRU athletes use the campus gym as well as the nearby TCC and Hillside Stadium for training and competition, demand surpasses availability, and this limited access can hamper athletes’ training potential.
Recognizing that there are WolfPack athletes who need separate facilities to reach higher levels, the Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund (KSLF) has gifted the TRU WolfPack with its largest-ever donation.
The $500,000 contribution goes to equipment for the university’s new varsity high-performance athletics centre in the upper mezzanine of the TRU gym ($375,000) and to student awards and scholarships ($125,000).
“The generosity of the Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund will have a lasting impact on our current and future athletes as well as the reputation of TRU and the WolfPack,” TRU President Brett Fairbairn said Wednesday at an event to celebrate the donation.
“This contribution from the Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund will help TRU student-athletes develop on and off the field of play to reach their full potential,” said Curtis Atkinson, TRU director of athletics and recreation. “This facility will also make it easier to recruit top athletes to the WolfPack and take our athletics program to a new level.”
This isn’t the first time the KSLF has supported the TRU WolfPack. Since 2011, the fund has provided the TRU WolfPack with donations that, up to present, amount to $250,000.
KSLF executive director Bob Smillie said the organization has long supported the WolfPack and this is an opportunity to help the department continue to grow and provide a top student-athlete experience in the country.
“A major goal of the society is to strengthen sport organizational capacities. The grant represents a true legacy for the WolfPack, the university as a whole and the City of Kamloops and region. It is a most worthy investment at an opportune time,” he said.
Replacing the former squash courts in the gym building, the high-performance athletics training centre is already under construction and is expected to be completed in the summer.
TRU has invested $1.3 million in the renovations and hired a full-time head coach, strength and conditioning for the space. The Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund’s donation will outfit the 156-square-metre space with lifting stations, speed-work tracks and other equipment.
This new centre will expand the training opportunities for student-athletes and help push performance to a new level.