Submitted by: Western Washington University
During the NCAA Division II Championship run by the Western Washington University women’s soccer team, the city of Bellingham and the surrounding community showed their support for the Vikings in various ways.
The Copper Hog in downtown Bellingham opened its doors as one of the finer soccer establishments and gastropubs in town to host a watch party for the semifinal and final round games.
Woods Coffee, a constant supporter of WWU and the Bellingham and Whatcom County community, is hanging flags outside of several of its stores to celebrate the National Championship.
Similar to the lighting of the University of Texas Tower and the Empire State Building for significant events, the iconic Bellingham Herald sign in downtown Bellingham was lit blue all week in recognition of the Vikings national championship.
“We are extremely grateful for all of the community members and local businesses who support us and are excited to celebrate this championship moment with us,” said Courtney Stringer, WWU Associate Athletic Director for Community Engagement. “Together, we positively impact our student-athletes and will continue to strengthen our relationships to enhance the student-athlete experience and unite our community.”
There were several other signs of support for the Vikings on campus and around town. WWU’s student-athletes are heavily involved in the community. The basketball teams recently held a food drive and also participated in a toy drive for underprivileged youth in Bellingham. There are countless free clinics run by the volleyball, basketball and softball programs and additional projects in the community by the 15 varsity sport programs.
Led by the efforts of sports director Doug Lange and his staff, local sports radio station KPUG 1170 AM has also been a great supporter of WWU’s athletic programs, broadcasting a majority of the men’s and women’s games and highlighting all of the program’s success as part of their #WesternWednesday segment.
WWU Athletics has been a perennial powerhouse at the Division II level and has won eight consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Sports titles. Among many recent notable achievements, the men’s basketball team won the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championship, the women’s basketball team has appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 15 of the last 19 seasons and the volleyball team has advanced to the NCAA Championships five consecutive seasons and played in the West Regional final the last two seasons.
The nationally ranked WWU men’s and women’s basketball teams return to action in Bellingham at the end of December. Basketball games this season are being played at Whatcom Community College as the renovation of historic Carver Gym nears completion.
“There are a lot of wonderful things happening with Viking athletics and the student-athletes are a big part of that,” added Stringer. “We invite the community to celebrate in our success by coming out to attend our games in support of WWU’s talented student-athletes.”
For more information on WWU Athletics, including schedules, rosters and ticket information, visit WWUVikings.com.
To get involved with WWU Athletics and any community engagement opportunities, please contact Courtney Stringer at Courtney.Stringer@wwu.edu.