Athletic Centre to open with historic NC-Brock basketball matchup – Sept. 29

Niagara College will officially open its brand-new Athletic Centre with a historic matchup between the Niagara College Knights and Brock University Badgers men’s basketball teams.

The first annual Peninsula Hoops Classic will take place Wednesday, September 29, with all proceeds going to the United Way of South Niagara. In subsequent years, the venue will alternate between Niagara College and Brock University.

“Niagara College and Brock University have a great working relationship in academics and student services, and we are very excited to build a strong and long-lasting partnership in varsity sports,” said Ray Sarkis, Niagara College’s Coordinator of Athletics and Recreation.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the grand opening of Niagara College’s new Athletic Centre,” said Brock University Athletic Director Chris Critelli. “The support our athletic departments show in giving back to the community speaks volumes, as this is just one of many events supported by our student athletes and coaches.”

While both Brock University and Niagara College have historically had strong basketball programs, the teams have never met on the court. Making the game a reality is due in large part to the efforts of Sarkis, Critelli, Niagara College Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Atkin and Brock University Men’s Basketball Coach Brad Rootes. A strong desire on both sides to support a key community organization was key to moving the idea forward.

“We are thoroughly thrilled to be a part of this historic event and know that it will be sold out,” said Peter Papp, Executive Director of the United Way of South Niagara. “Hats off to Niagara College and Brock University for their community commitment to the United Way in Niagara.”

Doors will open at 6 p.m., and tip-off is at 7 p.m. at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre. Tickets are $8 for general admission, $5 for college, university and high school students and $2 for children aged 13 and under. All tickets will be sold at the door. Parking is free.

Refreshments will be available in The Core, the Niagara College Student Administrative Council’s (SAC) new student centre, adjacent to the Athletic Centre. A portion of the proceeds from concession sales will also be donated to the United Way.

The Niagara College Knights have competed in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association since the 1969/70 season. The Men’s Basketball program has won three Bronze Medals in its 41-year history. Currently, there are six Varsity Sports Teams at Niagara – Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Soccer, and Men’s and Women’s Volleyball, along with seven tournament sports: Men’s and Women’s and Mixed Curling, Men’s and Women’s Golf, and Men’s and Women’s Indoor Soccer.

This season, the Knights have a new home in the Athletic Centre at the Welland Campus – a key part of the College’s $90 million campus redevelopment.

Brock University has a rich tradition of athletic excellence. In its 43-year history, the Badgers have captured 28 national and 53 provincial championships. Brock currently offers 24 varsity sports, which includes 13 men’s and 11 women’s programs.

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For more information, contact:

Gordon Hunchak
Director, Marketing & Communications
905-735-2211, ext. 7567
905-650-7820
ghunchak@niagaracollege.ca

Shawn Whiteley
Sports Information & Marketing Coordinator
Brock University
905-688-5550, ext. 4506
swhiteley@brocku.ca

Peter Papp
Executive Director
United Way of South Niagara
905-735-0490
executivedirector@southniagara.unitedway.ca

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