BRENDAN MCWILLIAM / SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
Can and will Laurier Brantford’s athletics department continue to grow their varsity programs and introduce others?
As the Laurier Brantford YMCA continues to draw the attention of future Laurier students and current students, many are wondering what sport opportunities are available on this campus.
Specifically, what are the plans for future upgrades to the Varsity Sports program in Brantford Campus? What are the sports currently available in varsity? What about scholarship opportunities for student athletes?
Many questions are asked as Laurier Brantford Campus continues to expand and carry its own weight alongside Waterloo Campus. Laurier Brantford is growing fast, and with new programs like user experience design and the Laurier-Sussex joint degree programs, students are searching for further recreational outlets in athletic excellence as well as academic excellence.
“There’s nothing in the plans to advance at this point in the next year or two, but we are always looking to expand our varsity programming,” said Kristin Fernandes, Manager of InterUniversity Sport and Recreation.
“Especially with the new facilities at the Laurier Brantford YMCA… right now we are waiting for our commitments with the OCAA as well and we can only start certain leagues and things like that on certain rotations and bases as well,” she said, “we are focusing on the teams we currently have.”
Currently, there are no coaching opportunities for the varsity teams at the moment as they are already filled, but for those interested they can try to help out with both the extramural and intramural sports programs and volunteer time with them. Many student athletes currently at the university are busy with the varsity sports on the table, as some take on both and occupy both semesters with training and tournaments in the year.
For those students seeking the establishment for more varsity sports on the Brantford Campus, a great way is to show a proven interest in the sports is establishing sports clubs for those unavailable for both Varsity and Extramurals.
Signing up for intramurals and extramurals sports that are currently available will also show Laurier Athletics, the leagues, and the university overall that a great and consistent interest in these sports will be worth investing in creating more varsity opportunities.
Although there are currently no scholarship opportunities for sports in Brantford Campus, it is within the radar of Laurier Athletics.
“We have built a reputation and it looks like varsity is here to stay, so now it’s time for us to start looking for those opportunities for scholarships for student [athletes]” said Fernandes.
“There isn’t much left to expand for extramurals… we’re restricted,” said Megan Jacklin, Coordinator of Recreation and Student Life on Brantford Campus, “cricket would be the only thing that we would have potential in changing over, but we don’t have the valuable core club program that’s running for cricket just yet so we just need commitment and participation first.”
This concept stems into varsity as well since commitment and a general, consistent interest needs to be shown by students for expansions to occur. The varsity program in Brantford has proven to be competitive nationwide in just four years, and with continued support from students and the determination of athletes the program is sure to grow and involve more in the future.
The most important thing to focus on is that even though we don’t have much varsity opportunities at the Brantford campus currently, we do have sport club programs and a collective of interested students need to establish new clubs on campus, and consistently participate to show the passion and interest.