Concordia athletics year-in-review

…On the high points of the year as recreation and athletics director…

KS: As recreation director the high point was opening the fitness centre and being able to watch people enjoy the wonderful facility immediately. First, with classes only and then the complete centre in winter.

And as athletics director, having teams proceed to championships in men’s basketball and wrestling was the highest point, but there were so many great and thrilling moments. Coaches being named coach of the year regionally and nationally are highlights and there is always a wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride when student athletes are recognized as all stars and/or all-Canadians.

…On Le Gym finally opening and reaching over 4,000 members…

It has been really rewarding. It is possibly one of the longest awaited projects and people have been wonderful in terms of participation and support. They have given quality feedback to [Assistant recreation director] Vladimir Pavlicik and the rest of the staff and they definitely have embraced the program and there have been new programs added throughout the year.

Break dance was added to the list of programs. I’m not sure if it never left, is coming back or a new generation is coming back to it, but it is a wonderful thing when people have ideas you can rally around common interest and common theme to make that

…On student attendance of playoff games…

This year really did represent tremendous growth in terms of attendance. If someone had said to me that only 50 more people showed up to games, it wouldn’t have mattered. No matter what the number, the fans were fabulous. Not to say that in previous years it wasn’t great but this year was particularly very exciting.

We also had traditional rivalries that helped create excitement with men’s basketball against Laval and UQAM, the men’s and women’s hockey series against McGill was extraordinary. Of course, early in the year there was the football semi-final against Montréal. But interestingly enough, it was the men’s rugby final at McGill that sticks out in my mind. It was wonderful to be in big crowd. The women’s rugby semi-final at McGill’s MacDonald campus was also a tremendous atmosphere. This year you really did feel over and over again the tremendous support.

…On the passings of Ed Enos, David Vaillancourt and Ryan Francis…

I have no words to describe it, and not because there isn’t an incredible amount to say. I can’t think of any department in the university expects to face losses like that in one year, never mind in a span of several weeks. But, after meeting each of the families, I can tell you that it’s with a heavy heart that we close off this year. The athletics department had such loss in such a short period of time. It reminds all of us how precious this is, how connected this all is, and everyone really came together.

Ed Enos has been retired for a long time, but it was remarkable how quickly I was connected to the long-term Loyola/Concordia family. They welcomed me into the family and were actually waiting for me to arrive.

…On what’s on the agenda for next year…

On the heels of success of the fitness centre, and keeping with our declared interest of expansion, we are moving forward at Loyola expansion, with proposals for league gifts and funding and that will dominate the agenda over the summer.


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