U of R wrestling, volleyball athletes make impassioned plea to re-instate cut programs
Students raising concerns that decision could open doors for other sports to be cut
Members of the University of Regina wrestling and volleyball communities spoke passionately to call for their programs to be re-instated at a news conference Monday afternoon.
"That's not the point of university teams, the point of varsity athletics is to create excitement, gain recruitment to your university and create community involvement," said student athlete Jordan Tholl.
"If we keep going this way … every time there is a deficit in the budget, every time there's spending cuts, there's going to be no more teams."
The U of R men's and women's wrestling and men's volleyball teams were cut after a report completed last year deemed it was not sustainable for the university to have 16 competing teams.
University explains decision
Harold Reimer, dean of kinesiology, said last week the report helped decide which teams were being cut.
Ultimately, though, it was up to the director of sport, community engagement and athlete development.
Four students from the wrestling and volleyball programs addressed the crowd after calling a news conference Monday.
They said they were speaking out not only for their own teams but to prevent other teams being cut in the future.
Tholl questioned the university's explanation that the decision on which teams to cut was based on finances, community engagement and community interest.
He said the teams received low levels of university funding, and that they were active in the community.
Wrestling program was active in community: student athlete
"As men and women's wrestling teams, we came out, we were the ones who ref'd tournaments, we came back to programs, trained the younger athletes, really fostered the atmosphere of wrestling in Saskatchewan," said Tholl.
"For anybody to come in and say that wrestling didn't have a high level of community involvement, or that the athletes didn't help the community out, is a complete … just not true at all."
He said the program's assistant coach was also involved in developing wrestling programs in rural areas.
Student says decision will stem growth of men's volleyball
Michael Corrigan, a student athlete in the men's volleyball program, said the sport is growing in Regina but will dwindle without the university program.
"A few years down the road when there's no more current or former players here, current or former coaches, there will be no one to coach these boys that are seeing the men's national team compete in the Olympics, compete on television now," said Corrigan.