UBC Intramurals History: 1970-2015

Written by Fred Hume, UBC Sport Historian. 

UBC’s Intramural Sports Program, in 2016, has come a long way since its

Nestor with a few words at the IM Soccer Banquet.

Nestor with a few words at the IM Soccer Banquet.

inception in 1935. In fact it has been quite the story on campus beginning in and around the year 1970. It was three years previous that Nestor Korchinsky was hired by Bob Osborne, UBC’s director of Physical Education, Korchinsky having been a star on both the athletic field and in the classroom at the University of Alberta. In fact Nestor would have known and likely been mentored by one of the original designers and launchers of UBC Intramurals, Maury Van Vliet, who was his coach and Dean of Physical Education at the U of A.

Still, today, when one thinks of the UBC Intramural Sports Program, it is this same Dr. Nestor Korchinsky whose name comes to mind and whose legacy lives on in the form of his current protégés Mike Tan and Jason McManus. For almost 50 years Nestor has been a driving force even into his retirement. Under his direction, mentorship and creativity together with that of his talented staff members, the UBC Intramural Sports Program has evolved to become the standard to which other institutions seek to aspire.

It started in the early 1970s when the Men’s and Women’s Programs combined forces after which the program took on a more comprehensive and innovative direction. Korchinsky along with students such as Joanie Pilcher (Webster), both “off-the-charts” motivators, saw that the program embraced more women’s programs, opportunities for students new to activity and programs for the physically challenged, programs accessible to all. The program sought better communication and engagement with the campus community, as Nestor ensured that the program was given good coverage in campus media. By the early 1980’s, the program produced its own media in the

Arts 20 Relay Participants.

Arts 20 Relay Participants.

form of “The Point” newspaper and in-house television. Also important were opportunities for student leadership within the program. Over the years many of these 3000 student alumni have been ‘poached’ by companies and organizations because of their confidence, intelligence and leadership qualities and have become part of the impressive UBC Intramural Sports legacy.

The second half of UBC’s Intramurals history can be characterized by not only the innovative events, opportunities and enhanced engagement but also the improved sponsorship – which helped create the Student Recreation Centre – and the acknowledgement of UBC’s history. All of this designed to fulfil the vision of kindling campus and community spirit while shaping and influencing the future of countless students.

And that 2015 Reunion orchestrated by Joanie and Nestor? . . . After 80 years it was a resounding success, showcasing the outstanding student leaders of the past and present.

We hope that you plan on being part of the 100th Anniversary Celebrations of UBC and attend the next UBC Student Awards Night and Alumni event scheduled for Saturday April 9th, 2016. You’ll be glad you did! Registration for this event will be opening soon.