The cancelled 2021 U SPORTS men's volleyball national championship now has a new date on the horizon. The Brandon University Healthy Living Centre will be the site of the national championship in March of 2025.
In a news release, BU Bobcats head coach Grant Wilson says "We are thrilled and excited to have the good news of hosting nationals in 2025. There was a lot of anticipation and excitement to host in 2021 and then came the cancellation due to the pandemic, which was extremely disappointing, especially for our seniors. This opportunity doesn't change that, but it definitely gives our young guys and our entire program something to look forward to and build towards. We can't wait for the day when we can pack the HLC and host the nation."
Although it's a far cry from when the team was supposed to host the event, it provides clarity and direction for the Bobcats, as well as positive news in a year that's brought mostly news of cancellations.
"After having the national championships cancelled two years in a row it's great to have some good news to look forward to," says Russ Paddock, BU Director of Athletics and Community Engagement. "We've had outstanding support from our community for past national and conference championship events, so we really look forward to the opportunity to showcase the talents of our student-athletes while representing Brandon on the national stage once again."
Brandon University hosted the 2016 women's volleyball national championship, the first in the school's history, and saw then record crowds over the four-day event. The Bobcats won their first Canada West conference championship on home court in 2019, which was reason for optimism in hosting in 2021.
BU Athletics will now look to build momentum for the upcoming competitive season and beyond. Not only does hosting a national event put Brandon University on the national stage, but it also provides benefits to the entire community.
"Now more than ever we are thrilled to host a fantastic community event that everyone can look forward to — a time to welcome the country, to come together and to cheer on our Bobcats as we pursue the national championship," said BU President Dr. David Docherty. "Normally I would boast about the pride and inspiration we can all take from our student-athletes, as well as the significant economic impact this tournament will bring. Most of all, though, I'm just eager to get back in the bleachers, stand shoulder to shoulder with spirited fans, and celebrate some great volleyball."
The tournament is tentatively scheduled for March 14-16, 2025 with all matches taking place at main court of the BU Healthy Living Centre.