TORONTO, ON – The Cape Breton Capers women’s basketball team has played in the U SPORTS National Championship final. Still, they’ve never hosted the tournament for one of their seven previous Final 8 appearances.
That changed on Thursday when the Capers and U SPORTS announced that the 2023 National Basketball Championships would make their way to Sydney, NS, for the first time. The tournament completes a hat-trick of sorts for Cape Breton University, which will host the U SPORTS Women’s Soccer tournament in November and the 2023 Men’s Soccer Championships.
“We are excited for the Women’s Basketball Final 8 to make its debut in Sydney,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, Chief Sport Officer at U SPORTS. “This event will bring together the people of Cape Breton for a national celebration for the second straight year on the No. 1 Island Destination in North America and one of the world’s best-voted Islands. We are confident the Capers athletic program will serve as a formidable host in organizing a first-class tournament in a community known for their quality hospitality.”
With the soccer tournament in 2021, the Capers will get an opportunity to put on a spectacular event while also working out any issues to ensure that the future championships go off without a hitch. While the U SPORTS National Championships have often gone to larger schools, the upcoming hosts feature CBU and Thompson Rivers, a smaller athletics program in British Columbia.
The tournaments will also allow the Cape Breton school to showcase their programs and talent to a national audience, with the CBC and U SPORTS partnering through the 2023 Championships.
“For a small institution to host three National Championships in three years is a great accomplishment and one that we take great pride in,” said Cape Breton Athletics and Recreation Director John Ryan. “We are very much looking forward to showcasing our basketball program and our community at each of these Championships.”
Although the Capers have never won a women’s basketball U SPORTS title, the same can’t be said for the men’s soccer team, which won in 2017 at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops, BC. Coincidentally, the U SPORTS Championships make their way back to Kamloops in 2022. The CBU Capers women’s soccer team last won the U SPORTS title in 2007.
“Cape Breton University and Cape Breton Island have a strong history of hosting first-class, high-calibre events, and this will be no exception,” says CBU’s David C. Dingwall, President and Vice-Chancellor. “With the support of all stakeholders, partners CBU will host an event that will not only provide an exceptional student-athlete experience but a memorable and exciting community event highlighting the importance of sport.”
Queen’s University will host the 2022 Women’s Basketball Championship, while the Men’s Soccer tournament makes its way to Carleton University.