Spartans, Griffins and Cascades looking to build on to Canada West — it could mean more rivals for T-Bird programs

UBC’s varsity conference could be getting a lot more crowded in the near future.

In a meeting last week in Richmond, Canada West’s members heard from senior administration and athletic directors at Trinity Western University, MacEwan University and the University of Fraser Valley regarding additions to their current Canada West offerings at each university.

The Trinity Western Spartans (TWU) hope to add a hockey program to their current Canada West basketball, volleyball, soccer, cross country and track and field programs in the 2020/21 season. The MacEwan Griffins also hope to expand their program beyond their current basketball, volleyball, soccer and cross country programs at the Canada West level with the hockey addition also in 2020/21.

For the Fraser Valley Cascades, they hope to add a volleyball program into the Canada West mix for the 2020/21 season. Their program currently competes in the PACWEST conference, alongside schools like Capilano University. The school currently has Canada West teams in basketball, soccer, wrestling and rugby 7s.

Each program now has just over a month to submit addendums to their applications — March 31 is their cut-off. Current hockey conference members will vote on the Spartans and Griffins applications at the Canada West AGM in May, as will the Canada West volleyball members regarding the Cascades application.

“We look forward to the membership process continuing over the next several months, as it’s important business for Canada West and our member institutions,” said CW President Clint Hamilton in a press release on February 8, 2019.

They will each need a ¾ majority to be successful.

What does this mean for UBC? Simply put, if the applications go through, that’s one more team in volleyball and hockey the Thunderbirds will face. With both Trinity and Fraser Valley in easy commute distance from UBC, it may spur some more rivalry-type games similar to those currently seen between UBC and Trinity volleyball, for instance.

Currently, there are currently 12 men's programs and 13 women's teams in Canada West volleyball. There are eight teams a piece in hockey.