UBC is honoring Thunderbirds coach and former Team BC coach Gord Collings with a field in his name to recognize a lifetime dedicated to the game of softball in B.C. The Gord Collings Field will be the new home of the UBC Thunderbirds, making it possible for the softball team to run their program on-campus.
Collings coached Team BC softball at the 2013 and 2017 Canada Summer Games and after years coaching locally, he became the Thunderbirds head coach in 2013. His love for softball was passed down to his three daughters who he coached as a volunteer for the local Delta Heat and South Delta Invaders teams before receiving the call from UBC. During his time with the Thunderbirds, he fought for the women’s softball team to continue being recognized as a varsity sport after it was recommended women’s softball be dropped.
With the support of the university, the Collings Stevens Family Foundation, and a fundraising campaign spearheaded by volunteers from the softball community, upgrades to the site of the Collings Field will include a resurfaced field, new dugouts, bullpens, bleachers, and fencing, and are expected to be ready in late spring of 2021. The field will also provide proximity to other UBC Athletics’ facilities as previously the team was playing out of Softball City in South Surrey.
“It’s a game changer. Not only in terms of the athletes being able to play in front of other students, but for the administration and staff to see and get an exposure to our game too,” said Collings in a recent interview with the Delta Optimist. “It’s difficult to drive out to Softball City on a Friday afternoon. Practicing and playing on our own field will be huge, and now when we are recruiting we can bring them out to look at our park and tie it all in. The girls are just ecstatic about that.”
Read the full article on Collings and the new field in the Delta Optimist here: https://www.delta-optimist.com/local-sports/new-ubc-softball-field-named-after-tsawwassen-coach-3202939