Jeff Kennedy, the UTS Director of Athletics, created
a legacy of excellence in sport at our school.
The renewed building is the final piece of the puzzle for the athletics program at UTS, says UTS Director of Athletics Jeff Kennedy. “We have the coaches. We have the players. We made sure they had the opportunities. And now we will have the facilities. It’s going to be high-energy!”
Imagine home games in the new McIntyre Gymnasium – a double gym with ample space for spectator seating – with all the UTS school spirit unleashed. “One of the most exciting things will be to witness the school spirit channelled into basketball and volleyball games at home where our team is playing,” says Jeff. “That will be the extra advantage that we’re finally going to have at UTS.”
Imagine the space to play. We will be able to run multiple gym classes at the same time, with room for everyone to take part. Two volleyball nets can be set up. Four badminton courts! There will even be room for indoor lacrosse. UTS be able to host tournaments in basketball, wrestling and more. With a collegiate-size basketball court in the centre of the city, provincial and even national teams may want to train here.
Imagine the synergies. Overlooking the McIntyre Gymnasium will be the Ridley Fitness Centre, where students will build stamina and strength in one of the best high-school training facilities in the downtown core. “If there’s anything we’ve learned from this pandemic, it’s the importance of physical activity,” says Jeff. “As long as young people are active, it helps them deal with stress and keeps their mind clear so that they can focus on their academics even more.”
Jeff joined UTS in 2002 and over 18 years developed a full-fledged athletic program with offerings at every grade level. He helped debunk the myth that UTS was great in academics but not-so-great at athletics. Now, he is proud to say that at UTS Open Houses, many parents start the conversation with, ‘We heard UTS has a really good athletic program.’
Way to go, Blues!
Jeff is happy UTS is winning championships as well. The year before the pandemic hit was tremendously successful with the UTS Foundation Girls Basketball Team winning the Small Schools Athletic Federation (SSAF) Championships, the Senior Girls Volleyball Team (Shuyu is on the bottom row, second from left) winning the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) gold medal and the Track and Field Team bringing home four OFSAA medals.
The amount of change over Jeff’s 18-year tenure is incredible. Now after 30 years in teaching, Jeff is ready to retire knowing his athletics legacy at UTS will rise to even greater heights thanks to the new UTS Athletics Centre.
You can make sure that UTS students have all the athletic and fitness training equipment they need in time for their return to 371 Bloor this November.