Louie Villanueva

Frosh 2016: The Dinos, home to some of the finest athletes in Canada

By Emilie Medland-Marchen —

The University of Calgary Dinos program features some of the strongest athletes and coaching staff in the country. Varsity athletics are a major part of the student experience, especially on a commuter campus like the U of C.

There are few events that bring students, faculty and staff together in one place to cheer on the U of C like a major Dinos game.

The Dinos varsity program includes competition in 10 different sports — basketball, field hockey, football, ice hockey, rugby, soccer, swimming, track and field and cross country, volleyball and wrestling. The Dinos compete in the Canada West conference against other varsity programs from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Towards the end of the regular season, the top programs in the conference will compete against one another for a spot in the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) national championships. Here, competition expands to include the OUA (Ontario University Athletics), the AUS (Atlantic University Sports) and the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) conferences. The top teams in the country will then battle for a chance to be crowned CIS champions.

Dinos teams play regular home games throughout the season that are always free for students to attend. But there are three marquee games each year that have higher attendance rates and are some of the most exciting events at the university.

Kickoff marks the first home game of the Dinos football season. The game takes place early in September at McMahon stadium and is included in Orientation Week festivities. Beer gardens are located outside of the stadium. Kickoff often boasts free food and carnival games, making it one of the rowdiest and most exciting Dinos events of the year. This year the Dinos will take on the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Sept. 9.

In January, the Dinos hockey teams compete against cross-town rivals Mount Royal in a thrilling match at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The annual Crowchild Classic always sees Dinos and Cougars fans parted on two sides of the arena to maximize heckling. The sea of red and blue makes the event an exciting display of home town rivalries and will have you proudly repping the U of C.

Every winter the Dinos basketball team hosts their Pack the Jack event, which brings thousands of students from across campus together to cheer on the Dinos at the Jack Simpson Gym. If you show up early, you’re bound to get some free Dinos swag out of the event. Last year the men’s basketball team made it all the way to the CIS conference championships, so this year’s Pack the Jack is bound to have some of Canada’s top varsity basketball on display.

Kickoff, the Crowchild Classic and Pack the Jack are some of the most highly attended and exciting games all season, but you don’t have to wait to catch the Dinos in action.

Teams play most weeks on campus at the Jack Simpson Gym, Father David Bauer Arena and McMahon Stadium. Take a break from studying on a weeknight and come out to watch your fellow university students battle for the top title in the Canada West — you won’t be disappointed.

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