Sports fund donates $500K to TRU for high-performance athletics facility, scholarships

$1.3M TRU facility lauded

Thompson Rivers University has received a six-figure donation to fund equipment in a “state-of-the-art” workout facility for WolfPack athletes that has the potential to change the game for TRU's varsity teams.

The Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund made a $500,000 donation to TRU — $375,000 for equipment in the new high-performance athletics centre and $125,000 for student awards and scholarships.

The $1.3-million high-performance athletics centre is under construction in the mezzanine above the gym floor in the TRU Gym building. It is expected to be complete this summer.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday at which the donation was announced, Curtis Atkinson, TRU’s director of athletics and recreation, said the facility will set the WolfPack program apart from other Canadian universities.

“It gives us a state-of-the-art training centre to call our own where athletes can come together across many programs — train together, push each other together,” he said.

“Without a doubt, today’s announcement will redefine what it means to be a high-performance athlete at TRU. It will further solidify Kamloops as the hub of high-performance sport in the Interior and, quite frankly, this will be a premier facility in the country when it’s complete.”

Atkinson said the facility will also pay dividends on the recruiting trail, bringing more high-calibre athletes to Kamloops.

KSLF executive director Bob Smillie said the organization has been a longtime supporter of the WolfPack.

“A major goal of the society is to strengthen sport organizational capacities,” he said.

“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.”

TRU President Brett Fairbairn said the fund has donated more than $250,000 toward student-athlete scholarships in the past.

“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,” he said.

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