The Brandon University Bobcats are preparing to perform in front of jam-packed crowds this week as our volleyball and basketball teams host matinee Canada West games at the Healthy Living Centre.

Close to 3,000 students and staff from over 40 schools across western Manitoba will be cheering on the Bobcats when they battle the Regina Cougars on Thursday for volleyball followed by basketball on Friday against the MacEwan Griffins.

"I do not think we expected this type of overwhelming response from the schools in the area," said BU Athletic Director Russ Paddock. "We appreciate their strong support and we cannot wait to put on a great show for the students and staff."

The Bobcats have re-captured lightning in a bottle following the highly successful School Program Initiative as part of last spring's national women's volleyball championship. Last March, around 1,800 students from over 30 schools attended the tournament.

"I have never played in front of a crowd like that before, that is going to be a lot of screaming kids. It will be a unique atmosphere and it is something that we are looking forward to," said fourth-year outside hitter Matt Powell. "Just going off of the women's nationals last year, the house was rocking and we are excited to experience that again."

"I went to school in Brandon and we came to Bobcat games when I was younger and it was pretty exciting. You looked up to the BU student-athletes as role models and it is crazy to think that it has come full circle for me, as now I am a Bobcat," said fourth-year forward Stephanie Hunter. "Hopefully we can be good role models for them on the court and give them a good game."

Sunrise Credit Union, Redfern Farm Services, Volleyball Manitoba and Basketball Manitoba partnered with the Bobcats on this season's project, which also includes an educational component with schools touring the campus before game time.

"Team sports are exciting entertainment and engagement for the entire community, especially when our BU Bobcats are involved. It is made all the better with an enthusiastic crowd adding to the powerful atmosphere and helping to motivate the athletes," said BU President Dr. Gervan Fearon. "It reminds me that we are all part of many teams - Bobcats, Team BU and Team Brandon. We all benefit from the support and encouragement by others so let's all come out to cheer them on! It can be contagious, and I'm looking forward to an energetic and enthusiastic crowd as well as great team play this week."

Thursday's volleyball matches are at 12 p.m. and 1:45 p.m., while the basketball games are at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday.

Earl Oxford, Ecole Harrison, George Fitton, J.R. Reid, Kirkcaldy, Linden Lanes, Meadows, New Era, Valleyview and Waverly Park are attending from Brandon, while the rural schools include Alexander, Binscarth, Birtle, Carberry, Douglas, Elkhorn, Elton, Erickson, Forrest, Gladstone, Glenboro, Goose Lake, Hartney, Holland, Hamiota, Major Pratt, Miniota, Minnedosa, Notre Dame, Oak Lake, Onanole, Pierson, Pilot Mound, Reston, Rivers, Shoal Lake, Souris, Strathclair, Treherne, Virden and Wawanesa.

"What a great opportunity the Bobcats and Brandon University are providing our students," said Carberry Collegiate principal and Bobcat hockey alumni member Bruce McCallum. "Being able to watch high-level volleyball and basketball and have the opportunity to tour the campus and get a sense for what BU can offer is a very valuable experience for our students."

"I think being able to showcase what Brandon University has to offer to younger students is going to be a positive for us" added Powell. "We can show them how high a level Canada West is and that is going to be huge for us. It will help our program for the future in trying to bring potential student-athletes to our university."

photo courtesy Brandon University Athletics

More Local Sports


47 teams competed in the 2018 Canadian Ringette Championships earlier this month in Winnipeg. Ringette Manitoba executive director Laralie Higginson will join Clayton Dreger on Sportsbeat which airs…

Pistons Capture Turnbull Trophy

The Steinbach Pistons are Manitoba Junior Hockey League champions for the second time in team history. Matthew Thiessen stopped 28 of 29 shots as Steinbach defeated the Virden Oil Capitals 2-1…

Jets Eliminate Wild in Five

The Winnipeg Jets are into round two of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Jets scored four first period goals en route to a 5-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild Friday night at Bell MTS Place. Winnipeg…


The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are busy preparing for the 2018 CFL season. General manager Kyle Walters, head coach Mike O'Shea and quarterback Matt Nichols will join Clayton Dreger on Sportsbeat which…

The Oil Capitals Report

Virden will face the Pistons in Steinbach tonight in game five of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League final. Head coach Troy Leslie will join Clayton Dreger on the Oil Capitals Report which airs…

The Wheat Kings Report

The 2017-2018 season came to an end last Friday when Brandon lost 3-0 the Hurricanes in Lethbridge in game five of their WHL Eastern Conference semifinal. Head coach David Anning will join Clayton…

This Week in Curling

The 2017-2018 curling season is coming to a close. CurlManitoba president Debbie Schween will join Clayton Dreger on This Week in Curling which airs Tuesdays at 11:35 a.m. & 5:20 p.m. on CJRB Radio…


The South East Prairie Thunder lost out in the semifinals of the 2018 Allan Cup in Rosetown. Head coach Dustin Hughes will join Clayton Dreger on Sportsbeat which airs Mondays at 11:35 a.m. & 5:20…

Two in a Row for Jets

Paul Stastny, Andrew Copp and Patrik Laine scored third period goals as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 Friday at Bell MTS Place and now lead the NHL’s best-of-seven Western…


Maddy Neufeld will join the ACC Cougars this fall. The Boissevain Broncos middle hitter will join Clayton Dreger on Sportsbeat which airs Fridays at 11:35 a.m. & 5:20 p.m. on CJRB Radio 1220. is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Monday, April 23rd

Eastern Conference
Boston at Toronto, 6 p.m.
(Bruins lead best of 7 quarterfinal 3-2)
Washington 6 Columbus 3
(Capitals win series 4-2)

Major League Baseball
American League
New York 14 Minnesota 1
Cleveland 2 Baltimore 1
Oakland at Texas, 7:05 p.m.
Los Angeles at Houston, 7:10 p.m.
Seattle at Chicago, 7:10 p.m.
National League
Cincinnatio 10 Atlanta 4
San Diego at Colorado, 7:40 p.m.
Miami at Los Angeles, 9:10 p.m.
Washington at San Francisco, 9:15 p.m.

Western Conference
Houston 119 Minnesota 100
(Rockets lead best of 7 quarterfinal 3-1)
Oklahoma City at Utah, 9:30 p.m.
(Jazz lead series 2-1)

Tuesday, April 24th

Eastern Conferance
Miami at Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m.
(76ers leads best of 7 quarterfinal 3-1)
Milwaukee at Boston, 6:00 p.m.
(Series tied 2-2)
Western Conferance
San Antonio at Golden State, 9:30 p.m.
(Warriors leads series 3-1)

Major League Baseball
American League
Seattle at Chicago, 4:10 p.m.
Minnesota at New York, 5:35 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 6:05 p.m.
Boston at Toronto, 6:07 p.m.
Oakland at Texas, 7:05 p.m.
Los Angeles at Huston, 7:10 p.m.
National League
Atlanta at Cincinnati, 5:40 p.m.
Arizona at philadelphia, 6:05 p.m.
New York at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m.
San Diego at Colorado, 7:40 p.m.
Miami at Los Angeles, 9:10 p.m.
Washington at San Francisco, 9:15 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Cleveland, 5:10 p.m.
Detroit at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.
Milkaukee at Kansas City, 7:15 p.m.

Search the Biz Guide