UBC has proposed a framework by which the Department of Athletics will map out a path to the future. As part one of a four-stage review of UBC sport teams, an advisory group collected feedback from hundreds of alumni, student athletes, coaching staff and other community members to propose what sport excellence should look like.
“We are announcing today the identification of the draft criteria that we feel will help define our programs,” said Ashley Howard, managing director of UBC Athletics. “This is part of a broad conversation with our community about a vision for achieving further excellence. We welcome feedback on these recommended indicators, weighting and measures.”
The sport review is part of the implementation of a new competitive model which emerged out of review of UBC’s Athletics and Recreation department in 2012. In this phase, UBC’s 29 varsity teams will be assessed against the criteria, once finalized.
The goal of the review is to focus resources to build an infrastructure for excellence at the elite levels, and broaden opportunities for competitive sports.
Representatives from the university, coaches, athletes and alumni formed an advisory team tasked with researching and proposing an initial list of criteria in August. UBC Athletics sent out a survey in September to gather input on these criteria and their relative values for a successful UBC program. Using their individual expertise, and representing their respective groups, advisory team members reviewed the input to arrive at the draft criteria announced today.
UBC Athletics is inviting a second round of feedback on the criteria, weightings and measures before moving to the next stages involving data collection of teams, assessment, and final decisions in Spring 2014.
The sport review and the new competitive sport model
The sport review focuses on evaluating UBC’s varsity teams (and interested competitive AMS clubs) for consideration in two high-performance strands of the model.
Varsity sports form the most performance-focused strand in the model. Varsity teams will receive tailored support for coaches, teams, and individual athletes. The model will support new partnerships with the Canadian Sport Institute, national and international sport organizations and professional leagues to create an infrastructure for supporting performance excellence. It will also foster partnerships with UBC faculty to integrate research and learning.
Under this strand there will also be a support program for individual athletes who are nationally ranked UBC students –not supported through varsity teams- competing at major games.
The second performance strand — a new category for UBC performance sports — will be competitive clubs. This strand will provide opportunities for teams to compete for UBC, with access to coaching honorariums, facilities student leadership education, and club development support.
How UBC made its recommendations on how to define excellence
The sport review process for UBC varsity teams began in September. It launched with a survey where alumni, athletes, coaches and key members of the community were asked to weigh in on the values placed on UBC sport teams.
There were 500 responses to the survey, including 200 alumni, 180 student athletes, and 24 coaches and staff. Meetings with stakeholder groups ranging from coaches, the AMS Council, student/student-athlete forums, the Thunderbird Athlete Council, the Thunderbird Council for the alumni, UBC administration and others took place. An advisory team, made of representatives from the Thunderbird Council, varsity athletes, coaches and UBC administration, assessed the results, and, where possible, discussed proposed criteria with their constituents.
The proposed criteria, weights and measures
Teams will be asked to provide data on these criteria going back a minimum of five years and as far back as they feel appropriate.
Competitive success, competition and progression – 35%
- Overall success at championships, nationals, worlds, and other major multisport events
- Quality of competition in the league
- Athlete development
Supports for competitive success – 15%
- Quality of facilities
- Quality of coaching
Community support and tradition – 20%
- Sources of alternative funding including partnerships, alumni support, and fan and merchandise sales
- Community support and interest in the team
- Tradition and history of the sport at UBC
Partnerships – 10%
- External high performance sport organizations
- Campus and community partnerships
Fit with University mission – 20%
- Student-athlete academic success
- Strategic fit for the University, students, and impact on international reputation
To view a more detailed version of the criteria and a feedback form sent to members of our community, visit: Survey: Draft criteria weighting & measures.
For more details, visit:
How people can have input
Visit the sport review website to provide your feedback on the proposed criteria, weights and measurement tools. The deadline for final feedback on criteria is December 1, 2013.
The criteria to evaluate the teams will be finalized in December. UBC will then work with teams to collect data and support coaches in their planning process. In early 2014, teams will submit information for each of the criteria, for assessment. UBC will then announce a first round of team placements for those with very strong assessments.
Using a partnership approach, further face-to-face discussion will take place with remaining teams to review plans for excellence against the criteria. At this stage, alumni and community supporters will be asked to get involved. Final decisions will be made in the spring, and there will be a process for appeal. Changes will go into effect in September 2015.
No pre-determined outcomes
“I hope people appreciate that during the assessment process, there are two stages for our teams,” said Howard. “The assessment is about what our teams look like as they stand today, and also what they could look like in an ideal world. Teams will be asked to provide context on how they are meeting these criteria, including options for new kinds of partnerships and funding. It is an open slate — every team will be given every opportunity to show how they can meet these building blocks of excellence.”