Lakehead University encouraging community members, friends to support the Wolf Den athletics facility

November 25, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Lakehead University is embarking on a $1.8 million campaign to support the construction of the dynamic new Wolf Den athletics facility, a project that students overwhelmingly supported in a referendum in 2018.

Set to open in 2020, the new 30,000 square-foot Wolf Den will be connected and built adjacent to the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse. Students are contributing $11 million of the $12.8 million construction cost.

August Ricketts, a former varsity basketball player and current fitness enthusiast, is excited to experience the Wolf Den.

 “As a Lakehead University student and former varsity athlete, I have spent quite a bit of time in our current athletics facility over the years,” Ricketts said.

“I have come to understand and recognize the importance of supporting the Wolf Den and how beneficial it will be. The new addition will provide a modern and bright space, to not only Lakehead students but to members of the Thunder Bay community as well.

“There will be more available time for students and community members to utilize the courts for recreational activities as well as give them increased access to more cardio and weight equipment. The addition will also give students another space to study comfortably and de-stress from school,” she added.

The expansion will allow Lakehead to double the space dedicated to weight lifting, cardio and gym areas that the current space provides, for both students and community use.

The Wolf Den will include a multi-purpose gymnasium, modern weightlifting area, new aerobics studio, expanded club team storage and offices, new space for recreational programming, multi-use boardroom, student study areas, a lounge and meditation centre, and a wellness clinic. The new facility will also provide accessibility enhancements for users who have disabilities.

 “This is an exciting project that we are very proud to be part of,” said Farhan Yousaf, LUSU’s Vice-President, Finance and Operations. “It will be a new facility for students, where they can study, relax and work out in one building.”

Tom Warden, Lakehead’s Director, Athletics, said the space would meet the needs of Lakehead’s students – and students played a role in every aspect of its creation.

“Lakehead students have driven this new facility,” he said. “They’ve been the ones who have championed it, financed the majority of it, designed it, and developed it.

“Together with the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse and the Hangar, the Wolf Den will ensure that Lakehead University Athletics continues to provide dedicated space and programming to meet the health, wellness and recreation needs of our students and the wider community,” Warden said, adding that he hopes the public will contribute whatever they can to help make this facility a reality.

“Students are the primary funders. As we move forward with this campaign, we hope our community members, corporate community, and friends of the university will see the value of this facility for the region and the city, and help make this project happen,” he added.

For information about how you can donate to the Wolf Den, visit or contact Kathryn Davidson at (807) 343-8476 or













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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or


Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. In 2019, Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings, once again, included Lakehead University among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, while Research Infosource named Lakehead 'Research University of the Year' in its category for the fifth consecutive year. Visit