Conceptual model summary

The competitive sport model presented here is a conceptual framework developed to function as a vision for the future and a starting place for the new managing director. The model has evolved from this starting framework, and will continue to do so based on feedback provided through ongoing input from stakeholders.

Where it started

In May 2012, an external review of UBC’s Athletics and Recreation department identified opportunities to improve operations, further raise our profile, better reflect our values, and celebrate our school spirit. As a result of the review, the door was opened for us to undertake a grander re-imagining of athletics and recreation at UBC.

Why re-imagine?

With the opportunity to place greater focus on athletics and recreation, we can build upon our strengths to achieve a greater measure of excellence, by:

  • raising UBC’s reputation as a leader in competitive sport;
  • growing the UBC Thunderbirds legacy and continuing to attract top student-athletes; and,
  • increasing participation in athletics campus-wide.


Who was involved?

The re-imagining process began with a Think tank of experts including senior administrators, academics, and partners in the private sector.

Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons_Think Tank2Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons_Consultation arrows wide 2Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons_Consultation wide4

What followed was a consultation with passionate stakeholders including coaches, UBC Athletics & Recreation administrators, Thunderbirds alumni, and student leaders, resulting in the development of a new model for competitive sport at UBC.

The new model for competitive sport at UBC’s Vancouver campus

The new model is inclusive, connecting our community members with opportunities across the competitive spectrum – everything from trying a new sport, to competing on the world stage.

Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons_Model primary

The new model attempts to realize excellence in three ways, represented by three coloured areas:


Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons-10International/National & Pro Sport

  • national, international, and strategic professional partnerships at UBC
  • host elite athletes and coaches
  • attract sport-science researchers and administrators
  • UBC will be the place of choice for top-calibre athletes training in Canada
  • advance our reputation as a leader in sports excellence, directly benefitting UBC varsity athletes, coaches and programs

Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons_Dotted line

Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons-11UBC Varsity Teams

  • support for student-athletes to continue to be perennial contenders and champions, building on our long and proud Thunderbirds legacy
  • continue to attract, train, and educate Canada’s best and brightest student-athletes
  • encourage more alumni engagement
  • achieve even greater accomplishments

Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons_Dotted line

Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons-12UBC Competitive Sports Clubs & Training Camps

  • a new area providing opportunities for the entire UBC community to participate in competitive sport
  • includes competitive and organized sports leagues such as youth clubs and camps, UBC sport clubs, and UBC community clubs
  • create a platform for development of skills
  • expand opportunities for social connection
  • enrich the student experience

Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons_Dotted line

Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons-13Wellbeing

  • identified as a new area of focus
  • details about the wellbeing area are still in early development, but like the other areas it will form an integral part of the UBC model
  • includes intramural leagues and events, and other partners committed to enhancing the wellbeing of the community
  • the lines between sport for competition and wellbeing are permeable, so movement between areas is possible and expected



“A healthy university aspires to create a learning environment and organisational culture that enhances the health, wellbeing and sustainability of its community and enables people to achieve their full potential.”

How is this model good for UBC?


Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons-04Creates opportunities to engage broadly, as knowledge is shared across fields to advance sport and the idea of the athlete as a whole person.



Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons-02Supports excellence in academic and athletic pursuits.



Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons-01Those who engage with the broad range of opportunities available will benefit from the character building and leadership development experiences that sport offers.



Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons-03Helps the UBC community come together to celebrate successes.



Competitive Sport Model - Web Icons-05Reinforces UBC’s vision to be one of the best universities in the world.