WINNIPEG, MB - The University of Winnipeg today officially opened its
brand new fitness facility, which is part of a $3.5-million expansion
to the Duckworth Centre. The University also announced the facility
will be called 'The Bill Wedlake Fitness Centre', named in honor of
outgoing Athletic Director Bill Wedlake (MBHOF Class of '05) for his 24 years of outstanding
contributions to the University.  The new facility covers nearly 6,000 square feet in area and features
brand new state-of-the-art cardio equipment, weight machines and free
weights. The facility also features a new sound system and several
mounted televisions for students, faculty, staff and local community
members to enjoy during their workout.


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Basketball legend Bill Wedlake will leave the U of W court on March 31.

“This amazing facility is further proof that The University of Winnipeg is committed to renewing downtown Winnipeg, encouraging active living, and promoting health and wellness in our corner of the world,”

said UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor Lloyd Axworthy. “We thank the Government of Manitoba for its support in this project and its commitment to enhancing facilities that contribute to healthy lifestyles of our students, staff and faculty as well as our community.”

Bill Wedlake joined The University of Winnipeg in 1984 as head coach of the Men’s Basketball Team - a role he held until 2000 when he became Athletic Director. As Men’s Basketball Coach, Wedlake led his teams to national prominence with six appearances at the CIAU / CIS National Championships, a No. 1 National ranking on several occasions and a consistent place in Canada’s Top-10 basketball rankings. As Athletic Director, Wedlake led a period of significant growth for Wesmen Athletics and community involvement. The Duckworth Centre itself has become a mini-convention centre with its constant facility use by community members.

The Duckworth Centre expansion features more than 1,000 square feet of new retail space at street level that includes a student-operated coffee business (SOMA café) and an expanded Wesmen sports shop. As well, the University’s Athletic Therapy Clinic will double in size and additional offices and classroom facilities will be built.

The funding of the project includes nearly $1.5-million in support from the Province of Manitoba’s specified capital fund - a $14-million fund originally announced in 2003 - combined with rents from retail tenants and revenues from a new student athletic levy. UWinnipeg students overwhelmingly approved a $35 annual athletic levy in a 2007 referendum.

As a result, students have full access to these enhanced fitness facilities, while UWinnipeg faculty, staff and the community-at-large can make use of the centre for a very modest annual fee.

"The Province is proud to support this new facility that will undoubtedly improve the physical health and well-being of the University of Winnipeg's students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Spence Neighborhood," said Manitoba Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Diane McGifford. "The facility and its state-of the-art sports equipment will help revitalize downtown and create one more reason for Winnipeggers to stay or spend time in the heart of the city."

The construction project was managed by The University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation (UWCRC), which was established to develop initiatives that represent university and community interests. Prairie Architects served as the project architect and ManShield Construction was the successful bidder for the construction work.

The expanded Duckworth Centre also represents a boost for UWinnipeg’s nationally-recognized Departments of Kinesiology and Applied Health, Recreation and Athletic Services, along with the very successful Wesmen sports teams.

The Fitness Centre Manager is Tricia Klassen. Tours will be given to anyone interested in coming down to see the facility. Memberships are now available and may be purchased in person at the Duckworth Customer Service Centre. For information on fitness centre hours and memberships please visit

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The University of Winnipeg is one of Canada’s leading post-secondary institutions. Consistently ranked in the Top-10 in the country on an annual basis by both Maclean’s Magazine and The Globe & Mail newspaper, the University of Winnipeg is a leader in academic excellence, Aboriginal education, environmental studies & sustainability, and theatre & the arts. The University of Winnipeg is committed to improving access to post-secondary education for all individuals, especially those people from non-traditional communities.

Find out more by visiting


Shawn Coates, Director of Marketing & Communications, University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7126, E:
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