Lightning Vision


St. Mary’s University’s Sport and Wellness Department will be known across Canada for leadership and excellence in university sport and will attract talented and passionate student-athletes committed to academic and athletic excellence. Our dedication and work ethic will make us the standard-bearers in terms of athletic excellence for small universities across Canada. Our Department’s irrepressible sense of purpose will be a source of inspiration, excitement, and pride within the university community. Our holistic approach will engage the whole student-athlete and challenge them to grow as people in a supportive environment where their passion for sport is channeled to positive ends beyond the playing field. They will carry the experience and the attitude of excellence with them for the rest of their lives while becoming truly dedicated to others in a spirit of respect and service.


Produce superb student-athletes who are ambassadors for their sport and role models in their community, reinforcing in them a commitment to excellence that enriches the university community and attracts other talented students to the pursuit of excellence and personal development; Design, assemble, and implement support systems which enable student-athletes and coaches to achieve excellence academically, athletically, professionally, and in life; Provide leadership and vision to the development of the university identity by working collaboratively with other departments and outside agencies to acquire the expertise and services needed to provide a holistic and comprehensive system of support; Celebrate and promote the accomplishments of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff of the Department of Athletics within the university and the greater community; To deliberately emphasize leadership development and the importance of service, respect, and tolerance in all we do; To promote athletics and encourage the community, students, faculty and staff to support sport and wellness events.

History: Lightning Athletics

St. Mary’s University was a founding member of the Alberta Colleges Athletic League. The league is composed of small colleges and has affiliated members in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Our institution was accepted into the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) in May 2010. Lightning basketball teams began competing at this level in Fall 2012. In fall 2014, the Lightning introduced their Cross Country program, making it St. Mary’s University’s third team competing in the ACAC.