The University of Prince Edward Island has been awarded the 2010 Canadian University Sport women’s soccer nationals.
UPEI’s successful bid was one of nine released Thursday by the CIS.
It is the first time UPEI will play host to the women’s soccer nationals but was the location for the most successful men’s championship in 2005 when crowds regularly topped the 1,000 mark.
“It such an exciting announcement to have the opportunity to host another CIS championship,’’ said UPEI director of athletics Ron Annear.“We knew, as we put our foot forward for a two-year opportunity, there would certainly be other great bids that would be considered at the same time. For us to have a successful bid for one year, that’s fantastic.’’
The announcement came much quicker than expected. Initial plans were for the CIS to hear bid proposals Tuesday and then release the sites in mid-July. “I’m not really sure why they moved that up,’’ said Annear. “All of a sudden when we were done they said we’ll be in touch later (Tuesday) or (Wednesday).’’
Annear attended the bid presentation in Ottawa with Wayne Long, events development officer for the City of Charlottetown, and was delighted with the municipality’s co-operation. “I want to extend a huge thank you to the city and the S.C.O.R.E. (Sport Charlottetown, Opportunities, Resources, Expertise) program for all their support in putting the bid package together and having Wayne join me in the presentation,’’ said the athletics director.
Long said there were a number of factors in landing the event, which also featured competition from the University of Toronto and University of Montreal. “We are able to offer the unique setting, really taking the event to another level in terms of the size of the city and the scope we can work with in order to deliver the event,’’ said Long. “When you go into a city like Toronto or Montreal the event doesn’t really take over the town like it does in Charlottetown.’’
Also playing into the process, said Long, was the success of hosting the ‘05 men’s nationals, as well as the strong partnership between the university and the city. “(CIS) also recognized the fact that, sure this is a university event, but also the fact that Charlottetown is a leading event destination,’’ said Long. “They looked at our hosting history over the past four or five years.’’
University of Toronto will be the site for three national championships while Trinity Western of Langley, B.C., has been awarded two nationals as the CIS released its host locations for championships in soccer, swimming and volleyball.
Toronto will host a trio of CIS nationals in a span of 12 months, including women’s soccer in the fall of 2009, swimming in the winter of 2010 and men’s soccer in the fall of 2010.
Trinity Western, which was awarded hosting rights for a CIS championship for the first time ever a year ago with the 2008 women’s soccer, will organize the 2009 men’s soccer and the 2011 men’s volleyball tournaments.
Other successful bidders announced Thursday were Thompson Rivers in men’s volleyball (2010), and Alberta (2010) and Laval (2011) in women’s volleyball.
Like UPEI, U of T has never hosted the women’s soccer nationals since the sport was added to the CIS program in 1987 and has hosted men’s soccer only once (1986).