Volume 92, Issue 60

Thursday, January 14, 1999



Young showing grit to spark hoopsters

Athletics seeking new strategy for the millennium

The end of an Air-a

This week in Mustang sports

Athletics seeking new strategy for the millennium

By John Dinner
Gazette Staff

As has become apparent to many over the last few years, sport has become more than just athletes playing the games they love. It has become a business.

This unavoidable fact has landed here at Western and Intercollegiate Athletics is doing what it can to maintain the viability of the Mustang athletic programs.

The Intercollegiate Athletic Strategic Planning Committee has been developed to provide recommendations for the future of athletic programs at Western, as well as the CIAU and the Canadian sporting environment.

Working in conjunction with the Senate's Standing Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics and the Department of Health Sciences, the IASPC will attempt to formulate plans for budget and structure, as well as the viability of new and old sports at Western.

"We want to develop a criteria to be followed by future administrations and programs," said Wes Dunn, the chair of the IASPC. "We don't have the jurisdiction to say 'x' team should stay and 'y' should go, but we will be making recommendations as to how to go about dealing with these issues in the future."

Many of the decisions made will be from recommendations made by the Western community through meetings and discussions, as well as written submissions which are open to anyone wanting to make their claim heard about the state of athletics at Western.

"The invitation has gone out to anyone who wishes to make a recommendation or statement regarding Western's athletic program," said chair of athletics, Darwin Semotiuk. "It's important to get the thoughts from as many people as possible who are concerned. It is the only way that the proper decisions can be made, with the most input possible."

Angelo Belcastro, dean of the faculty of Health Sciences, was a leader in developing this committee, believing this to be the best time to implement new strategies.

"This is timely as we move towards the new millennium but also because of trends towards declining resources and down-sizing," Belcastro said. "We want to make sure that there is a framework in place to make sure that Western will be able to maintain its excellent athletic tradition under these new directives."

Belcastro also believes input from the Western community is imperative to the success of the committee's goals.

"I want to engage people in a discussion debate. We need as much input and information as we can get," Belcastro said. "We welcome any input. Input from inside and outside the Western community, student athletes and coaches."

Anyone wishing to make a statement regarding Western's athletic programs, can send it to Brenda Gates, IASPC Secretary, Faculty of Health Sciences, H131, HSA, or email bggates@julian.uwo.ca.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999