Queen’s recruitment goes to great lengths to recruit star athletes

Gaels go above and beyond for the best

The ARC is one of the main recruiting tools for Queen’s.

In the United States, the way colleges approach athlete recruitment is a lucrative business. After years with their eyes on young talent, recruitment offices spend inordinate amounts of time and money in order to attract what they hope to be the next best thing. If all goes well, a full scholarship and the chance to play with America’s best is handed to the athlete. It’s no small deal.

Things are a little different in Canada when it comes to recruiting athletes, and Queen’s is no exception.

“Academics is the most important factor for most students, including student athletes, in their decision to attend Queen’s,” Alex Dominato said in an interview with The Journal. Dominato is the recruitment coordinator at Queens. He oversees all the inner-workings of recruitment at the school.

Dominato explained that there are significant differences between how Canadian and American schools can recruit. He described that this often boils down to the amount of money a school can give to its athletes. 

While American schools can offer full athletic scholarships, Canadian universities like Queen’s can’t. To combat this and remain competitive on the recruiting market, other attempts are made to offset the cost of school, such as providing athletes with on-campus jobs.

The size of the financial assistance given, otherwise known as Athletic Financial Awards (AFAs) is determined by the amount of funds that Queen’s has. This is extremely important to Queen’s ability to attract student-athletes.

“Athletics and Recreation and the Office of Advancement work collaboratively to grow the AFA fund so we can provide more assistance to student-athletes, which may influence their decision,” Dominato said.

Keeping these funds at a level that will be able to appeal to the athletes is critical in Queen’s efforts to get the student-athletes to commit. Not only does it give them a chance to play their sport at a high level, it has a snowball effect on the ability to grant more valuable AFAs.

In the business of sports, the magic formula of profit for organizations is largely predicated on athletic success. It’s simple: the better a team plays, the more revenue the team will generate. It can also have a negative impact to an organization because a slip in success can cause drastic changes in profit.

Queen’s also uses one of its best features in order to appeal to potential athletes — the ARC. “They enhance the overall student experience for everyone,” Dominato said. It’s arguable that many universities have recently updated their athletic facilities, as athletes often have a tendency to choose schools that have the best resources for their needs.


All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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