Supporting Canada’s Best Swimmers for Tokyo 2020

Since the opening of the new UBC Aquatic Centre in early 2017, the facility closed for its APMC in December of 2017, 2018 and 2019. In June of 2019, UBC Aquatic Centre together with department leadership completed a review of options which resulted in the decision to shift the APMC to April of each year starting 2021.

Why the change from April?

The UBC Aquatic Centre is home to Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Vancouver and sees national team athletes training in the facility twice per day most days throughout the week. Swimming Canada had previously scheduled its Trials for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games for April in Toronto, ON. But due to ongoing pandemic-related challenges, the trials have been pushed back to May 24-28.

This led to a unique request from Swimming Canada. Could UBC accommodate on-going training by the national team to prepare for trials by postponing the annual preventative maintenance closure for a few weeks?

Finding a way

UBC has a rich history of sporting excellence with a long list of Olympians and Paralympians as alumni. The relationship with Swimming Canada goes back nearly forty years with a unique partnership that provides national team athletes with the opportunity to pursue academic excellence in parallel with their national team training commitments. This partnership has greatly benefitted the UBC Varsity Men’s and Women’s Swimming Programs, the most decorated in Canada, through on-going daily collaboration and an elevated level of focus on a training environment that is focused on international podium performances. When the request from Swimming Canada came-in the staff at the UBC Aquatic Centre were keen to complete a robust feasibility assessment despite the operational and scheduling challenges that it may present.

Following a feasibility assessment which considered additional operational challenges provided by the pandemic, the UBC Aquatic Centre has been able to accommodate the request and will now be closed May 21-June 20 for the APMC. COVID-19 has presented a number of challenges to aquatic operations throughout the world and the hope is that the community will join us in rallying behind this “yes” during a period when so many restrictions have been a part of our day-to-day lives.

“With the many varsity championships being cancelled this year due to COVID-19, it is great to see that our department was able to find a way to support this request and provide the athletes, coaches, support staff, and the entire community something to rally behind. We are proud to support Canada’s best swimmers right here at UBC whenever we can,” said UBC Managing Director of Athletics and Recreation, Kavie Toor.

This altered schedule will not only benefit Canadian Olympic hopefuls, but will also provide students, faculty, staff, residents, and the general public with ongoing access to the UBC Aquatic Centre further into the spring.

Story with photos as well as athlete and coach testimonials via

Members of the UBC community are invited to learn more about Swimming Canada’s athletes online here