A College Athlete’s Take on Recent Changes to the Athletics Program

Article by 24647 Paul Lystiuk 

The recent announcement of the changes to the College’s Varsity Athletic Program has affected many different people at the College. As I have been an active member of almost all aspects of the RMCC athletic program in the past five years, I can easily understand the good, the bad and the ugly from both parties involved and I was asked to discuss the reaction of the decision around the college. I will not discuss the decision itself, as it has already been made and quite frankly I haven’t a clue as to the exact reasoning behind it; however I will discuss the reactions of myself and of the Cadets involved.

First, after speaking with members of both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams it was more than clear how visibly upset everyone was with the decision. This is completely understandable. Despite having less than favourable seasons in the past, these Cadets have dedicated an enormous amount of time and (often unappreciated) effort. For myself, and being involved in the varsity hockey team, I personally know how much each person gives of themselves to the team and the sport for every practice and every game. To find out one day that their sport, of which many have played throughout their time prior to university, will no longer be part of the RMCC Varsity Athletic program would be, to say the least, deeply disappointing. However, despite the outcome of the situation the men and women of the Basketball Teams should be proud of themselves and be proud of what they have had the opportunity to do. Not many people have had the privilege to represent their school and their country in the same way that these players have, and every single one of them has done so with pride.

Now, on the other hand, the announcement was not all bad news, it contained some good for certain clubs around the College. A few clubs gained “Competitive Club” status which would allow them more privileges than a normal club, however less than the varsity programs. Members of various clubs around the College invest an immense amount of time to their sport of choice however before this decision; they were all required to still participate in all the college’s PT programs as well. This turns out to be very time consuming and with academics included, they would not be able to put 100% into their desired sport. With these new changes, they will now be able to place more focus on their efforts to improve themselves and to represent the RMCC name well at their respective events. I believe that the club members should be very appreciative of the new funding and support that they have received in order to make the best of it and to excel to their greatest potential in the near future.

After all of this, the decision that has been made is extremely unfortunate to the members of the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams but this author would like them to know that their efforts are not without praise as I will miss watching them on the court next season. And for the members of the Competitive Clubs, I wish them all the best and I hope that nothing but success will come of their new opportunity.

Editor: 24647 OCdt Paul Lystiuk, photo above, was awarded the Commandant’s Athletic Achievement Award from BGen Eric Tremblay at the 2012 Varsity Awards Ceremony.

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