When Loralyn Murdoch took over as director of athletics at UNBC 13 months ago, she wasn't very long on the job when an unexpected bill pushed her department over budget.
The cost of keeping four varsity teams involved in basketball and soccer as part of Canadian Interuniversity Sport increases each year, so it was welcome relief for Murdoch last year when Vince Buljevic walked into her office and handed her a $1,000 cheque.
Buljevic, president of the Northern Capital Sports Society, promised Murdoch there's more in store this year for UNBC's athletics department, the main beneficiary of the sixth annual NCSS golf tournament, Friday, June 25 at the Prince George Golf and Curling Club.
"Last year we were rebuilding and it was very small-scale and the money we just donated ourselves," said Buljevic. "I'm not sure how much we'll raise this time but it's looking good already."
Society members will gather today at 1 p.m. at the Westwood Pub, 233 Cherry Ave., to watch the opening World Cup soccer game between Croatia and host Brazil and raise money for the society.
Over the past three years the NCSS has provided $18,000 for the UNBC women's soccer program. The money has been used to fund team travel, meals, scholarships and bursaries.
"We're very grateful for the support, absolutely," said Murdoch. "In the past, the money had been going towards a women's soccer bursary, but I think the plan is to be a little more general for student athlete assistance.
"Vince really wants to support student athletes in any way he can and this [golf tournament] is one way of doing it."
Since its inception in 2005, the society has contributed more than $48,000 to UNBC athletics, CNC/UNBC women's soccer, the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame, the Terry Wilson Memorial Cup Catholic soccer tournament, Special Olympics Prince George and the Maple International soccer club.
The Texas scramble format tournament will feature 18 holes of golf and chances to win prizes from hole sponsors. The cost to play is $35 or $65 with a buffet dinner. Non-golfers can take part in the dinner for $30. Online registration is available at northerncapitalsportssociety.com. For more information call 250-960-8886.
Murdoch said the recent UNBC Alumni tournament at Aberdeen Glen Golf Course attracted 132 golfers and raised $40,000 to support UNBC's athletic bursary fund. UNBC is hosting a legacy breakfast athletics department fundraiser at the Northern Sport Centre gymnasium on March 20, 2015, with hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser lined up as the keynote speaker.
Murdoch was in Vancouver Wednesday for the CIS annual general meeting, where UNBC was voted in as a full-fledged member after two years as a probationary member. That gives UNBC voting rights in the CIS for the first time. Canada West Universities Athletic Association conference schedules for the two basketball and two soccer teams will be finalized at the Vancouver meetings, which wrap up Friday.