Going around to schools in the Quebec conference, something stuck out at me.
Ottawa: new facilities. Carleton: new facilities. McGill: new facilities. UQAM: new facilities.
Concordia? You know the story.
Two weeks ago in The Concordian, Concordia director of athletics Katie Sheahan said that plans were in place to improve the athletics complex at the Loyola campus. That is great news.
There would be so many advantages to a new sports facilities. An example of this came Friday night. The Concordia Stingers were playing for the Quebec championship and they had to turn people away from the game because they would violate the fire code. A sell out. Great news, because it shows that Stinger Pride is alive and well.
Imagine if the gym was bigger and there could have been even more people in there cheering for the Stingers.
This past weekend, I was at the CIS Track and Field National championships that were being held at the Tomlinson fieldhouse at McGill University. Over 400 athletes took part, and the stands were full most of the weekend. That brings me to my next point. If we had new facilities, we would be able to hold national championships. Imagine if we could have the Vanier Cup right in our own backyard. Or how about the men’s or women’s hockey or basketball championships.
Right now we can’t, because our facilities aren’t good enough. Not enough dressing rooms. Not enough seating. Not enough flair. These championships are a great way to generate revenue and publicity.
You saw it with the new football field, which is always described by media members as one of the nicest fields in Canada.
In fact, sports is a great way to generate publicity and revenue for the university. Schools across Canada have seen alumni donations increase when sport teams do well. The Gazette has improved their coverage of university sports, as has TSN and The Score. And perhaps the biggest thing is that sports is one of, if not the best way to generate the school spirit that so sorely lacks at this university.
This school is divided by campus it seems, and people don’t flock to Loyola. However, this is one of the only things that the Loyola campus has. It has become a part of the community in N.D.G. Improving the sports facilities may not be able to fix the gap between Sir George Williams and Loyola, but it will increase the fan base at Stingers’ games and make things better for the university.
The athletes are devoted and have the desire to make sports a major part of the University. It’s about time the people involved realized it too.
Off to Halifax!
This Stinger team does seem unflappable. I said in this very column not too long ago that they seemed unbeatable, and they weren’t jinxed. We’ll see how they perform this weekend in Halifax, but I hope to see them on TSN come Sunday.
If “It’s All About The” Benjamin Sormonte can hit shots like he did two years ago, this Stingers team might have what it takes to dethrone the defending champions, Carleton. Four of the Stingers starters including the other outgoing senior Pat Perrotte were with the team two years ago. The fifth is arguably the best point guard in the country in Damian Buckley.
Doom and Gloom
If you listen at all to The Concordian Hour on CJLO (Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m., with the podcast at theconcordian.com), then you know that I am no longer a believer that the Canadiens can make the playoffs. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that they won’t finish in the top 10 in the Eastern Conference.
The Sergei Samsonov saga has gone on way too long, and I actually am on Samsonov’s side on this one. The guy has been put in miserable situations and being blamed for everything. He hasn’t been the Canadiens’ best player but he hasn’t been the worst either.