Athletes speak up at open forum

Review panel accepting submissions until March 16

Money was on the minds of both students and coaches at Wednesday’s open forum to discuss
the department of Athletics and Recreation’s review.

Led by Professor Bob Crawford and dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research Janice eakin, students, faculty and community members gathered in Policy Studies building to voice their
concerns about Queen’s athletics and recreation. Chase Miller, the fundraising chair for the Queen’s sailing team, said his biggest concern is the team’s lack of funding.

As a competitive club, the team receives a grant of $2,500 per year. Miller said the squad’s annual expenses are usually about $6,500, so the team relies heavily on alumni support as well as a $150 fee paid every year by each member.

Retaining its status as a competitive club at Queen’s was also at the top of the team’s priority list.
“The idea that we’ve got from talking to various people in athletics and recreation … is that you’re going to be going for a nimbler number of teams,” he told the assembly. Head coach of the golf team
Bert Kea said his team was one of the groups demoted from varsity team status to competitive club status after the 2002 review, and he said the biggest issue for him is not the funding cut but the lack of recognition the players, and especially the women, get from the school.

“For the last five years, I’ve been trying to get equity for women as well,” he said. The women’s team
is currently a recreational program, meaning the players are not allowed to use the name Golden Gaels. “I think if you want to promote excellence, you should be proud of these women to call themselves Golden Gaels.” Men’s rugby head coach Peter Huigenbos said recruiting is one of the greatest challenges facing Queen’s coaches. He said Queen’s cademic standards make recruiting
top players more difficult, but the solution is not changing them. “As a Queen’s alumnus myself, I’m proud of this institution’s standards and the respect that Queen’s receives around the world.”

He said it’s difficult enough to find time to pursue potential players while working full time outside the university.

“We have to focus on allowing our coaches to coach and recruit and not deal with administrative duties,” he told the assembly. Field hockey player Michelle Mattiacci, who spent a year at Guelph before transferring to Queen’s, said the attention she got from the recruiters at Guelph was a major part of her decision to attend the school first. She had to contact Queen’s coaches herself. Facilities were also a major factor, she said. “Guelph had a field house and a practice turf as well being able to
play indoor in a full-size gym.” She said each varsity sport at Guelph has its own dressing room with full-size cubbies, benches washrooms and three showers.

Queen’s doesn’t have the proper turf to host field hockey games, so the team has to travel every weekend during the season and practice in a gym year-round.

Crawford and Deakin will be accepting input through written submissions emailed to or faxed to 613-533-6513.

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