Wider Horizons

Choosing the best name for a school sports mascot or team name is not easy. From the earliest days, sports were an essential part of the Lethbridge College experience, so leaders wanted something that would be respected and that could build school spirit. It also didn’t hurt if they could use the name to lightly poke fun at their competition.

When the Lethbridge College men’s basketball team of 1960-61 was looking for a name, they noted that the University of Alberta team was the Golden Bears. Lethbridge chose the name Kodiaks as they “wanted a bear larger than the U of A’s mascot.” The Kodiak is one of the two largest bears today (the other being the polar bear). It is a strong name and one that has been used by the men’s teams at the college for the past 57 years.

It took much longer for the name to be adopted by the women’s teams. The first women’s basketball team at the college was formed in 1959. The women’s teams at the college have gone by a few names including the Cubs, Bobkittens, Kittens, Koalas, and, from 1977 to 1985, the Kodiettes. In October 1985, the women adopted the name Kodiaks as well.

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Whatever the name, both the men’s and women’s teams (in various sports) have had incredible success winning 57 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championships as well as 12 national championships.

Some of the types of sports and teams have changed over the years and new ones have been added to the roster. Basketball and volleyball have remained strong. Soccer, badminton, cross-country and curling teams (to name a few) have been created in the last few decades.

Other sports have come and gone. The college had a hockey team in the late 1960s, while in the early 1970s there were both equestrian and drill teams at the college. There was also a snowmobile demonstration team in the early 1970s.


If you have memories of your time with one of the college’s teams, we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to WHMagazine@lethbridgecollege.ca, or post it on our social media networks. We can’t wait to hear the Kodiaks memories you have to share.

Wider Horizons
Story by Belinda Crowson, Galt Museum and Archives, with many thanks to Dave McMurray for all the great information on the Kodiaks. Photos from Lethbridge College archives.
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