April 20, 2017 Community, News

Meet Gilles Lepine, one of our community’s newest UNA residents and UBC’s Senior Director of Athletics.

Hailing from Quebec City, this friendly French-Canadian was approached by UBC last year and was given the opportunity to work with their outstanding athletics department. On making the tough decision to move across the country, Gilles simply said, “why not?”

Gilles and his wife, Danielle, moved out of their home of 25 years and settled into Wesbrook Place last July. They were a little nervous at first, thinking about downsizing their home and being immersed in a new, West Coast lifestyle. But Gilles explains that they discovered something incredible in this community. “There are so many benefits to living here. We are surrounded by so many kind people, people who are here to learn, work, and raise their families. There are lots of people but it still feels like a small village. Everything is close by and convenient – I feel like I’m living in the future!”

Gilles is already taking full advantage of what our futuristic community has to offer. Besides exploring the natural beauty of Pacific Spirit Park and riding around campus on his bicycle, he enjoys working out and doing yoga with Danielle at Wesbrook Community Centre.

As a lifelong sports enthusiast who made a career out of his passion,

he claims that sports and recreation are simply part of his DNA. This makes Gilles the perfect person to work as UBC’s Senior Director of Athletics; he knows how important recreation is in order to live a full and happy life. As a new UNA resident, he hopes to share this message with everyone in our community. He knows that there is something for everyone to enjoy through UBC Athletics, even if you are not a varsity athlete. Going to a basketball game is a great way to spend a Friday night, but it’s also great way of meeting new people and building connections with other members of the community.

Gilles explains that children benefit the most from going to games and cheering on their team. When they see these incredible athletes working together, they see role models. They see young, hard-working people who are not only training hard and staying active, but who are also studying and working towards a degree. If children want to be like their favourite players, they’ll learn that they need to work hard and get an education, too. There is no better place to do these things than right here at UBC!

The UNA and UBC have a strong relationship, but Gilles hopes to strengthen the bond between the community and UBC’s Athletics.

He wants UNA residents to learn about all the sports and recreation that are available. Most importantly, he wants people to feel excited and interested in getting involved. That is why he will be working with us more closely to achieve this goal. Beginning this fall, the UNA will be hosting several Meet and Greet events in which members of the community can meet some of UBC’s best athletes, learn about their teams, and maybe challenge them in a friendly game!

In the meantime, Gilles and everyone here at the UNA would like to hear from you. If you have ideas about how we can better connect members of the community with UBC Athletics, feel free to contact Gilles at gilles.lepine@ubc.ca, or speak with our very own Program Manager, Andrew, at andrew.clements@myuna.ca. Of course, you are always welcome to stop by Wesbrook Community Centre or the Old Barn Community Centre and chat with us! As Gilles would say, why not?

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