UFV partners with BC Summer Games, PacificSport to launch new fitness space

UFV athletic director Steve Tuckwood, 2016 BC Summer Games executives Stan Petersen and Steve Carlton, and Jared Kope of PacificSport Fraser Valley were on hand Tuesday to tour the new fitness space on the UFV Abbotsford campus.

The UFV Department of Athletics and Campus Recreation is pleased to unveil an expansion to its fitness facilities, created in partnership with the 2016 Abbotsford BC Summer Games and PacificSport Fraser Valley.

What was once a nondescript storage room within the Envision Financial Athletic Centre (Building E) on the UFV Abbotsford campus – formerly packed to the rafters with racks upon racks of seldom-used folding chairs – has been transformed into a dynamic fitness space filled with state-of-the-art workout equipment.

The 850-square-foot room with 16-foot ceilings now houses 10 spin bikes, two squat racks with platforms, a training sled, and a variety of other weight-training gear including dumbbells, medicine balls and kettlebells. The garage-style overhead door on the south wall can be opened on sunny days to facilitate outdoor spin classes.

The transformation was made possible by a $33,000 grant from the 2016 Abbotsford BC Summer Games Legacy Fund, in response to a joint application from UFV Athletics and PacificSport Fraser Valley. Cascades varsity and club teams will use the new facility for strength training, and UFV students, faculty, staff and alumni will have access to it through Campus Rec group fitness programming. PacificSport Fraser Valley, a not-for-profit regional sport hub created to lead athlete, coach, and community sport services, will also run programming out of the new space.

The original Fitness Centre in Building E is still operational, and it’s also undergone a facelift of sorts with the arrival of new fitness equipment.

The project is the brainchild of Steve Tuckwood, UFV’s director of athletics and campus recreation, who saw an opportunity to maximize a forgotten corner of campus. The UFV Facilities department played a pivotal role – their willingness to vacate the space and find new homes for the folding chairs paved the way for the project to go ahead.

The storage room formerly known as E182 has already garnered a nickname: The Cave.

“What is most fun for me is, we took a dormant space and turned it into a dynamic space,” Tuckwood said. “We certainly appreciate our Facilities team for being willing to give it up. As a program, I see it as a monumental leap for us from a strength and conditioning opportunity not only for our varsity teams, but for any students, staff and faculty that want to get healthier through our Campus Rec program.

“We’re deeply thankful to the 2016 BC Summer Games for providing the funding to help our vision to become reality, and we’re excited to partner with PacificSport to deliver services to the community.”

On Tuesday, members of the UFV President’s Executive joined stakeholders from the 2016 BC Summer Games board and PacificSport Fraser Valley to tour the new facility for the first time.

“It’s part of the dream-come-true scenario,” enthused Steve Carlton, president of the 2016 Abbotsford BC Summer Games. “Two years ago we were talking about, ‘When we have a legacy, what’s that going to look like?’ It’s really gratifying to see one of our partners, UFV, and PacificSport using the money in a way that will benefit so many for so many years to come. We’re delighted about this – it’s just awesome.”

Jared Kope, executive director of PacificSport Fraser Valley, said that the new fitness space could meet the needs of a wide variety of users, from PacificSport’s high-performance carded athletes, to community sport organizations looking for space to work with their teams, to local Special Olympics programs.

“The transition of this space from the start to the end, and how quickly it came together is so exciting,” Kope said. “Our athletes and the sport groups we work with are so keen to find facility space to train, and we can already see how excited the community is.

“That’s always the hardest part – where do we find space? We have the athletes, we have the experts through PacificSport and UFV, but how do we find them the space to be able to do what they need to do? This facility will be that for athletes in the Valley East, and that’s what I’m really excited for.”

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