'I'm extremely devastated': University of Regina cancels wrestling, men's volleyball teams
University said the move will save money
Beginning next semester, the University of Regina's (U of R) men's and women's wrestling and men's volleyball teams will be no more.
A report completed in January 2017 said that the 16 teams the U of R currently had competing were not sustainable.
Harold Reimer, dean of kinesiology, said the report helped decide which teams were being cut but it was ultimately up to the director of sport, community engagement and athlete development.
I'm extremely devastated just seeing a program that I grew with [in] my university years go away.- Sena Debia, former wrestler
"It would be a multifaceted perspective. Certainly one of the things that we considered was the level of community engagement with those programs and the amount of community interest and/or even community investment in those programs," Reimer said.
Although it is too early to tell the exact numbers, Reimer estimates the cuts will save anywhere from $350,000 to $500,000 and that around 45 student athletes will be impacted.
These cuts will results in two full-time coaching positions being lost and one term contract position not being renewed.
Reimer said the University will continue to honour any scholarships the students might have.
'They're really devastated'
Sena Debia wrestled with the Cougars for three years but had to take a break this year due to an injury. She now coaches a high school team at LeBoldus.
Debia said many of her wrestlers are disappointed because they won't be able to move forward in their sport in university.
"I know that lots of my wrestlers and wrestlers from other schools were really banking on signing with the U of R program and having the opportunity to move forward because wrestling is such a life-changing sport," she said.
"They had that opportunity to stay home and play the sport they love so they're really devastated.
"I'm extremely devastated just seeing a program that I grew with [in] my university years go away."
Debia also said that she knows athletes on the team from other provinces who now aren't sure where they are going to go to university.
"Everyone's kind of reeling right now," she said.
Lucas Hoffert wrestled with the team for five years, including this school year. He said wrestling has helped shape who he is.
"It's going to impact a large community," he said.
"I just keep thinking about the athletes on my team who have committed already however many years to the sport and now they're not going to be able to do what I was able to do and finish off their senior years in the way that they want to."
The university is set to meet with the affected athletes Tuesday at noon.