A month after confirming the team will retain its status as a varsity sport, the University of British Columbia (UBC) has announced its women’s softball team will play home games in Surrey next season.
The UBC Thunderbirds will play games at Softball City, site of the annual Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship and the 2016 Women’s World Championships.
The announcement, made Wednesday afternoon at Surrey City Hall, comes a week after the Cascade Collegiate Conference approved an associate membership application from the UBC team. The Thunderbirds previously competed as a member of the Association of Independent Institutions.
“One of the benefits of moving to the new conference is we will have the opportunity to play more home games,”said UBC head coach Gord Collings. “At Softball City, our team will have access to one of the best facilities in North America, if not the world.”
The Cascade Collegiate Conference has teams in Oregon, Montana and Idaho. Last season, it played a 28-game conference schedule.
“We are so excited to become a part of the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) and given the opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the NAIA”, added Collings.
In addition to playing 14 CCC league games each season in Surrey, starting in March of next year, UBC players and coaches will be out in the community providing instructional clinics for local female softball players.
The Thunderbirds team had a huge local contingent on the roster last season, including Quinn Dhaliwal, Kelly Rumley, Zoe Gillis, Frances Ramsay, Emma Tuson and Margarita Sison of the White Rock Renegades, and Sarah Hillsdon and Lindsey Ogilvie of the Surrey Storm.
Collings was involved in the Delta Heat rep program for many years before taking on the role of head coach at UBC. His daughter Paige Collings is an assistant coach, as is former Renegade Cassandra Dypchey.