Abbotsford/India – Members of the University of the Fraser Valley wrestling program are embarking on the trip of a lifetime this week, as they travel to India.
Head coach Raj Virdi is taking six Cascades wrestlers with him on the trip – Brad Hildenbrandt, Karla Godinez Gonzalez, Amtoj Dhaliwal, Karan Dhillon, Jacob Torres and Parker McBride. They departed this past Saturday, and return to Canada on Monday, Dec. 4.
Their time in India will largely be spent in the city of Chandigarh, where UFV has had a campus since 2006. In addition to spending time at the UFV facility, they will train at Panjab University and visit local wrestling clubs with former India national team head coach PR Sondhi. Sondhi spent time with the Cascades in Abbotsford back in September 2014.
“It’s an amazing to go across the world and take a group like this with you,” Virdi enthused. “It’s sports diplomacy – we’re representing Canada and representing UFV. It’s exciting, because it’s completely different – the atmosphere, the culture, and how they train for wrestling. Over there, they train all day long, with multiple sessions each day. It’s more of a professional sport over there, and how they approach wrestling is completely different. It’ll be a good experience for our athletes.”
The Cascades wrestling program is in its fourth season of Canada West / U SPORTS competition, and the men’s team is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation. Hildenbrandt made some history for the UFV athletic department last spring, winning the Cascades’ first-ever U SPORTS gold medal.
UFV India delivers its internationally recognized programs at the 16.5-acre campus of GGD SD College (SDCC), in Chandigarh, a city of about 1 million in the Punjab region. Programs offered include Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Computer Information System, and Management Post Baccalaureate Certificate. UFV India students can transfer to UFV Canada in years 2, 3 or 4. The Chandigarh campus celebrated its 10th anniversary in March 2016.
Updates from the Cascades’ India trip can be found at ufvcascades.ca.