The Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) is the governing body for collegiate/institute athletics in B.C. It was founded in 1970 as the Totem Conference. The charter members were: BCIT, Capilano College, Cariboo College, College of New Caledonia, Douglas College, Malaspina College, Okanagan College, Royal Roads Military College, Selkirk College, Trinity Jr. College and Vancouver City College. League play led to provincial champions who went on to represent BC in the Four-West Championships (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, & Manitoba). In 1972 the Four-West, the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association and the Quebec Colleges Athletics Association merged to form the Canadian Colleges Athletics Association (CCAA).
In the Fall of 1985, the Totem Conference changed its name to the Totem Colleges' Athletic Association.
In the Fall of 1987, the Totem Colleges' Athletic Association changed its name to the British Columbia Colleges' Athletic Association.
In the Fall of 2011, the British Columbia Colleges’ Athletic Association changed its name to the Pacific Western Athletic Association.
Today there are 11 PACWEST member institutions located across the province. A total of 51 teams compete in five sports for the right to represent BC at the CCAA Nationals.
The PACWEST believes that collegiate athletics should be an integral part of a balanced, holistic, educational program of any institution. It provides laboratory courses on physical, mental and social development, teaching lifelong values of teamwork, discipline, commitment, perseverance, fairness, and respect. Statistics show that student athletes are consistently strong academically, develop positive lifestyles traits, and contribute to community spirit and growth.
The PACWEST is committed to working to provide quality athletic opportunities for its members.
“The Pacific Western Athletic Association empowers member institutions in their quest to provide quality athletic opportunities to enhance the overall educational experience of their students.”
As “values” pertain to “One’s principles, priorities, or standards” (Oxford Dictionary, 1993) the following values are the operational values of the organization to implement the mission statement. Values are also seen as the “substance of culture” (Schein, 1985) that exists within an organization.
The goals, rewards, policies and procedures of an organization should not contradict the values that are set out, but rather allow the values to manifest within the organization. These values must be lived out by the board members of the PACWEST, in conducting meetings, in establishing policies, and in carrying on the affairs of the Association in order to become instilled in the hearts and minds of the athletes, coaches, officials and spectators involved within the PACWEST.
Therefore, the following are presented as the foundational values of the PACWEST:
- To provide opportunities for athlete development and athletic excellence in a safe and positive environment
- To develop and encourage the academic success of student athletes
- To foster a holistic approach in the development of the student athletes
- To encourage excellence in leadership modelling and development through athletics
- To assist in the development of coaches and officials within the province
- To develop and empower geographically and competitively diverse college/institute athletic programs within B.C.
- To respect people and creative ideas as crucial resources
- To cultivate respect for officials, opponents, and spectators through the promotion of Fair Play principles
- To promote gender equity in all sports
Collegiate Athletics is an integral part of a balanced, holistic educational program of any institution. Athletics provide laboratory courses on physical, mental and social development, teaching lifelong values of teamwork, discipline, commitment, perseverance, fairness, and respect. Statistics show that student athletes are consistently strong academically, develop positive lifestyles traits, and contribute to community spirit and growth. Therefore, athletics should not be viewed as a fringe benefit to strong academic programs, but as a core component of learning, growth and development.