Of my four years at the University of Alberta I can honestly say that there has never been a better time to be a sports’ fan on campus. For the first time, all U of A students get in free to any Golden Bears or Pandas home game during the regular season, just by showing their ONECard. That's right, we get in FREE. This fact has significantly bumped Golden Bears and Pandas games up my list of things to do whenever I am making plans with friends, looking for a cheap date night, or just taking a break from studying. Another great thing I’ve recently discovered is CanadaWest.TV, a website which allows you to watch almost all U of A games for a small fee. If you are not already following our teams you definitely want to start, so here is a short recap of what has happened so far this year and what you can look forward to during the rest of Fall semester!
The Pandas rugby team entered the 2014 season looking to repeat as champions after winning it all last year and they have not disappointed. They started their season with three straight road wins and with only one game left are a lock for the playoffs. Unfortunately by the time this article is released they will have played their only home game of the season. However rugby fans can follow the team to Calgary on the weekend of October 17-19 to watch them in playoff action.
It was nearly four years coming, but the Golden Bears team has finally won another game. On September 20th, the Golden Bears emerged victorious, beating the Regina Rams 44-42. The game was a must see, with the fans rushing the field to celebrate with the team after the final whistle. If you were could not make it however, there is no need to despair, the Golden Bears play their last home game on October 18th and it is sure to be a great time.
|Image courtesy of UAlberta Atheletics on Twitter|
The Pandas had almost as much success last year, making the semi-finals last season and finishing as the top team in the regular season. While the Pandas had not yet started their regular season as of the writing of this article, they have gone 4-0-2 in preseason action. The best thing about the Pandas having not yet started their season, is that it is still possible for you to be in the crowd for their home opener on October 10th against the University of Regina. The Golden Bears on the other hand play their next home game October 17th against the University of Saskatchewan.
|Image courtesy of U of A Athletics|
Much like the Golden Bears, the Pandas have been off to a great start going 3-1-2 to start the season. During this time the Pandas defence has been dominant, led by goaltender Kelti Biggs, not allowing a single goal in the last five games. Much like the Golden Bears, the Pandas have two home games left this season, also on October 11th and 12th. Since both days the Pandas’ game starts two and a half hours before the Golden Bears’, you could easily make a day of it and see both. Also you should aim to be there a bit early to catch the women singing Celine Dion’s “That’s The Way It Is,” their pre-game ritual.
The basketball teams are the last teams to start their regular seasons. Just like the volleyball teams the Golden Bears and Pandas have matching schedules this season, with their home opening weekend on October 31st and November 1st. The weekend sees both teams play twice against the Saskatchewan Huskies, giving basketball lovers a lot of options for which free games they want to catch. Both teams were quite successful last year, the Golden Bears won a CIS bronze medal while the Pandas finished 5th in the country. The Pandas will also be hosting Hoopfest from October 17-19th, a yearly tournament. While these are not regular season games, meaning University of Alberta students do not get in for free, there are 8 games over the course of the weekend and last year a weekend pass only cost $10, although prices for this year’s tournament have yet to be announced.
----About the Author
How’s it going? My name is Dan and I’m a fourth year student with a Political Science and History double major. As such, people are my passion. I love reading about the cultures and the societies that they create, the problems that they face and the amazing ways that they have overcome their obstacles. I figure that there are at least one or two people out there who, like me, enjoy learning about those around them so I hope that YouAlberta will provide me with a space to help share other people’s stories.
When I’m not out and about people watching, you can generally find me hanging out with the Debate Society or contemplating which country I am going to visit next. So far I have been to 10, which is significantly less than the possible 196. I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how to rectify this issue and am open to any suggestions you might have for my next trip!