St. Clair College Athletics suspends varsity curling and badminton
The St. Clair College Department of Athletics is suspending its varsity curling and badminton programs for the 2018-19 season due to financial reasons.
It’s a decision that affects more than 20 students at St. Clair.
College vice president Ron Seguin tells AM800 News the two programs were suspended, due to the success of their other varsity programs.
"What comes with that is the stress on travel, hotels,” says Seguin. “We're approaching $500,000 in expenditures this year, so we've had to take a look at what the mix of our teams looks like, where we're most competitive at the varsity level.”
The Athletic department notified the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association at last week’s Annual General Meeting in Peterborough.
The decision does not sit well with Clovis McLaughlin, who was the badminton coach at St. Clair for nearly 30 years.
“We won six Ontario championships and five bronze medals at Nationals so how can you not say that our badminton program is ok," says McLaughlin. “If you need to make cuts, you could’ve at least approached me personally first of all and try to see if I could’ve been able to help with cuts in our own program.”
St. Clair says all scholarships committed to the current rosters in curling and badminton will be guaranteed.
The decision caught first-year badminton player Henry Andkilde by surprise. The 19-year-old tells CTV News he is looking to change schools now.
St. Clair College says it will expand intramural and extramural programming in both sports, and will examine all varsity sports offerings over the next year. It says the study will cover the competiveness, long term financial viability and recruitment of top level student-athletes for each varsity team.