Pilots settle into new digs in Niverville


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/11/2021 (267 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It’s been a few weeks now since the Pilots sports teams from Providence University College in Otterburne first took to the floor at the beautiful, spacious and state of the art Community Resource and Recreation Centre in Niverville.

The Pilots athletic teams and programs have long been a staple and important part of Providence, as their teams have competed with much success over the years against colleges and universities across Manitoba, nationally and in the U.S.

Now, there is an exciting new chapter for those teams at Providence, as this fall the volleyball, basketball and futsal teams have begun playing their league home games in the striking new facility in Niverville. The $20 million facility, which opened this summer, includes an expansive fieldhouse where the Pilots now host their games.

TERRY FREY/ THE CARILLON The Providence Pilots women's volleyball team, in action last Saturday in Niverville.

In June, Providence and the Town of Niverville announced they had entered into a partnership that would allow the Providence teams to use the facility for their home games, freeing up space at the college for other programs.

Teams are continuing to practice at the campus, only using the Niverville facilities for the games.

Providence had been looking at possibly building a new gymnasium down the road, but with the new Niverville fieldhouse opening up, that is not being considered at this time.

Athletic director Scott Masterson says the athletes love playing in the new facility. “They love the floor, they love the higher ceilings and it’s a great environment to play in.” He adds, “This facility just better serves our home game needs.”

And he says the visiting teams have commented in what a tremendous facility it is to play in as well.

They have also been drawing quite well for home games, which included about 400 specatators on hand for games on the opening weekend, which is near capacity. Providence has added bleachers on both ends of the court, allowing spectators to be closer to the action.

There is also the ability to expand the capacity to 750 spectators, which is a requirement to host a national championship. Masterson they will be bidding to host a national college’s volleyball championship in 2025 or 2026.

“We worked out some of the early kinks in playing our games there and now our teams are just happy to be able to play there. We have worked hard to make it look and feel like our home gymnasium.” That has included Providence and Pilots signage along with Pilots merchandise on sale at the games.

Masterson says one of the reasons they were excited with the opportunity to play their games in Niverville is because “it is a growing community, well situated not far from Providence, and with the goal of hopefully growing a fan base there and becoming more a part of the community.”

He says part of that involvement in the community will include student volunteers from the college volunteering in the schools in Niverville, which would bring more awareness to their teams playing there.        

A complete schedule of the Pilots upcoming home games in Niverville is available on the Providence University College website.




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