One thing that’s clear about this photo is that it’s the 1918 University of Alberta Varsity female basketball team — that had yet to take on the moniker of “Pandas.”
We also know that the women’s basketball team used to play games in an addition behind Athabasca Hall completed in 1914 that provided space for a larger dining room and a gymnasium. The space was also used for examinations, dances, teas and Sunday morning church services.
The man holding the basketball is none other than Cecil Race, ’23 MA, who had a long-term career in administration at the U of A and was, by all accounts, a renowned gentleman.
Apparently the “effort” to have Race return as coach of the team paid off, as illustrated by this item found in the December 19, 1918, issue of The Gateway. “Basketball enthusiasts will be glad to know that Miss Martin is back in her old position as president of basketball. All of last year’s senior team are here, and the junior team has most of its members. There is enough good material to arouse great enthusiasm for places on the team. An effort is being made to have Mr. Race train the team as he did last year, and Miss Fabb train the other girls thus giving more girls a chance to practice. The three practices so far have been well attended.”
If you can identify anyone else in this photo, please let us know.
February 12, 2011 will be the last regular season Pandas game ever played in the Main Gym. Both the Pandas and Bears will play next season’s games at the under-construction Go Centre on South Campus.