Scott Allen, Jacob Doerksen, Louis Hurd, Luke Robinson, Calvin Westbrook, Tyrell Mara




– This past weekend members of the Trinity Western University men’s basketball team took time off from their study’s and training to take a trip to the community of Alert Bay, B.C. to help run the Alert Bay First Nations sport development clinic and coaching workshops on Sept. 18 and 19.

“Alert Bay is an amazing and beautiful environment that has a definite need,” commented TWU head coach Scott Allen. “I love what the leaders in the community are doing. They are giving the youth of Alert Bay a new development model to run parallel with their passions.”

The Spartans and their coaching staff along with Basketball BC’s Richard Hunt traveled to the north part of Vancouver Island with the support of KidSport and funding from the province and Health Canada to help run the initial first nations sport development clinic. They connected with former Spartan and clinic organizer Luke Robinson to help implement the initiative. “I was fortunate to be able to watch Luke start at the grassroots and happy to have some input in assisting him to building a strong foundation in the community,” added Allen.

The clinic, which is the first of a new Sport BC programming initiative – the Power of Sport Tour, focused on providing basketball and skill development for the youth of Alert Bay and training for coaches. The Power of Sport Tour® sees specialists from across the province deliver workshops, seminars, presentations and demonstrations aimed to promote, teach and encourage involvement in amateur sport at the local and regional level. The Power of Sport Tour® has positively affected all of the communities it has been fortunate to be involved and looks forward to many more successful Tours in the future.

Current CIS Player of the Year and Spartan leader Jacob Doerksen commented on his experience. “The trip to Alert Bay was an experience like no other. We are so fortunate to have had this opportunity to coach and learn the culture of the first nations. Luke Robinson is what Trinity [Western] basketball strives to stand for. He has started something special in Alert Bay that I want to be a part of in the future.”

Held at Lawrence Ambers Recreation Centre, the clinics were to help encourage participation for the local community and to help set up the infrastructure for continued success for Alert Bay.

New Spartan Tyrell Mara Tyrell reflected on his trip to the northern Vancouver Island.  “The trip to Alert Bay was a once in a lifetime experience, it was an amazing opportunity to enjoy a new culture, work with a great community and make many new friends. To see a community so passionate and determined to grow and positively impact others was inspiring and taught me about what is really important in life.”

“I will stay involved and continue to help with the Alert Bay community in the years to come as they had a significant impact on me and I believe that they are creating something special that will continue to grow and be a positive impact on their community,” added the former Portland University (NCAA Div. I) captain.

The structure of the sessions saw Basketball BC and TWU coaches and players in a coaching clinic on Friday evening from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Then on Saturday they ran youth clinics from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for different age groups, which were followed by scrimmages.

Spartan guard Calvin Westbrook added, “Being in Alert Bay was an amazing testament of how transcendent the sport of basketball is. We were able to use the language of sport to help a wonderful community begin a basketball program that will help their youth tremendously on and off the court in the future. Luke Robinson is exactly the type of role model I would have been fortunate to look up to as a youth and I'm so excited that the youth players in alert bay have the chance to learn and grow from him.”

About Alert Bay:
Alert Bay, which has a population of around 600, is located on Cormorant Island about three kilometers off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island. It is the oldest community in North Vancouver Island and has been the traditional home of the Namgis First Nation for several thousand years. It is a well-known centre for the powerful resurgence of Native culture and hosts some of the region's finest historical and cultural artifacts, First Nations paintings and totem poles.

About TWU:
Trinity Western is a member of both the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  TWU offers 42 undergraduate and 16 graduate degree programs through its Langley campus, including specialty programs offered at TWU’s Laurentian Leadership Centre in Ottawa, the Crow’s Nest Ecological Study Area on Salt Spring Island BC and its Bellingham WA campus. TWU’s School of Business recently launched an MBA program, and the new School of Nursing will be offering a Master of Science in Nursing this fall.

As Canada’s premier Christian university, TWU provides exemplary academic programs that have earned national recognition: TWU has received three consecutive A+ ratings for “overall quality of education” in The Globe and Mail Canadian University Report Card, and recently ranked first in Canada for “enriching educational experience” as reported in Maclean’s. For more information, visit


Last Updated: 2009-09-25
Author: Scott Stewart