Winning teams bring enhanced reputation

Five years ago, the Department of Physical Recreation and Athletics conducted an extensive review of competitive sport at Carleton. Our goal was to provide as many opportunities as possible for students to participate in sport at many skill levels and to provide a better gender balance in our athletic programming and activities. And we wanted to do this within the constraints of limited facilities and funding.

There were a number of significant changes that came out of the 1999 report, including the elimination of varsity football and the creation of an integrated sports structure with three varsity divisions. We made 11 recommendations that ranged from creating funding envelopes for the different divisions, to establishing a Sports Management Program at Carleton. Of these recommendations, only the recommendation on sports management has not been implemented.

We also agreed at the time that there should be a five-year moratorium on the sport structure to provide some stability in the program.

Now that the five years is up, we have once again conducted an assessment of competitive sport and made further recommendations. Significantly, the department is recommending the maintenance of the current number of varsity sports, keeping three sports for men and women at the elite level (basketball, nordic skiing and soccer ) and moving others to reflect changes in OUA competition.

We are also recommending that consideration be given to building an ice arena. Currently, Carleton is one of only two universities of our size in Ontario without an arena. This means that both men’s and women’s hockey club teams as well as the recreational intramural hockey programs must use facilities at various locations in the city.

However, our number one priority coming out of the report is the establishment of a new academic program in sport management/administration. Of course, this recommendation would need the full support of senior management, academic departments and Senate, but we believe it is time to take a serious look at this possibility.

An academic program in sports management would help us attract more top quality student athletes to Carleton and further enhance the performance of our teams. And we have just witnessed the incredible national exposure and enhanced reputation that winning teams can bring to this university.

Drew Love is the Director of Athletics

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