EDMONTON (CUP) — The University of Alberta could be the centre of the next major sporting event to come to Edmonton.
On October 18, it was announced that Canadian Interuniversity Sport had selected Edmonton as Canada’s bid city for the 2011 Summer World University Games, also known as the Universiade.
Calgary and the University of Calgary had proposed a bid for the 2011 Winter Universiade, but CIS ultimately decided to go with Edmonton. Edmonton previously hosted the summer Games in 1983.
“The CIS Board was presented with two outstanding bids from both Calgary and Edmonton,” Jean-Guy Ouellette, Chair of the CIS International Committee, said in a release. “It was a difficult decision to select one city to continue in the bid process with, as we were confident that both communities had the experience and capacity to deliver an outstanding set of Games.”
Edmonton will now attempt to finalize the details of the bid, including funding and a business plan. The CIS board of directors will decide in April if they’ll submit the bid to the Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire, the international governing body for university sport. The final decision on who will host the games will be announced on January 16, 2007.
The impact of the 1983 Games is still prevalent on campus. The Butterdome, whose official name is the Universiade Pavilion, was built for those Games, and the Universiade Scholarship is still given out each year. This year, 30 scholarships of $2000 each are available.
Dr Michael Mahon, dean of the U of A’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, said he expects similar legacies if Edmonton is awarded the 2011 Games. He also stressed the value for athletes of having the Games at home.
“Hosting these games in Edmonton represents an incredible opportunity for Canadian university athletes, particularly because the Olympics will be held the following year,” he said.