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“I absolutely recommend the ALC to everyone I know. I have definitely bragged about it to every athlete I’ve met in Winnipeg.” // photo credit:

U of M gym building bridges to the community

The Active Living Centre & Recreation Services played a pivtoal role in preparing sledge hockey legend Billy Bridges for the Olympics

August 21, 2018 — 

Billy Bridges, a renowned five-time Paralympic gold medalist and four-time world champion in Sledge Hockey discovered Recreation Services through his wife, Sami Jo Small—a beloved Winnipegger and also an Olympic hockey champion.

Like many community users, the introduction to Recreation Services at U of M came long before the Active Living Centre (ALC) was constructed. It all began with the Gritty Grotto—making the transition to the ALC that much more desirable.

As a disabled athlete I have a lot of different requirements for my training. Where I live [for most of the year], I have to be a member at three different gyms/clubs to cover all of my training needs. The ALC literally has it all.

Aside from his training, Billy also uses the gym and swimming facilities to shoot hoops and swim laps, and enjoys wheeling his way from St. Vital to campus using the trails that run through the outdoor green spaces.

His use of the ALC in 2017 played an important role, he says, in his silver medal performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. It provided him with everything he needed to prepare: from Nordic ski ergs and hand bikes, to three different types of horizontal pull machines.

For this reason, you can probably understand his appreciation for the facilities and all they have to offer; not only to students, faculty, and staff, but community members as well.

“I absolutely recommend the ALC to everyone I know. I have definitely bragged about it to every athlete I’ve met in Winnipeg.”

Recreation Services offers membership and program options at the Fort Garry and Bannatyne campuses. Visit to check out the wide range of fall programs including class descriptions, schedules, and pricing. Recreation Services members receive up to 20 per cent off of the cost of registered programs. Fall registration is now open.

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