The seats reserved for the students were filled.
The ones for faculty were not.
— David Boles (@DavidJBoles) May 7, 2018
Cougars wrestling athletes Paul Tokarz, Jordan Tholl and Amber Wiebe, as well as former mens Cougars volleyball team member Mike Corrigan sat down in front of a packed house at Level 10 Performance Company Compound in the east end of the city, as they hosted a town hall on the cutting of the programs.
No faculty members from the University of Regina were in attendance.
Tokarz, a former wrestler at the U of R, made it clear he and his fellow student athletes feel greatly disrespected by the cutting of the clubs they wholly devoted themselves to.
“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “Sometimes you don’t feel like an actual person, just an auto sent email and numbers.”
- University of Regina drops wrestling and men’s volleyball program
- Local high school wrestling coach shocked by U of R decision to eliminate wrestling
- Former Cougars wrestling team still looking for answers
For her part, Amber Wiebe said the town hall was the perfect way for the student athletes to begin to send a loud and clear message: they want to bring their sports teams back.
“We expect to re-instate the programs,” she said. “We believe that there wasn’t any adequate evaluation, there was no clear look at all the issues, all the finances, everything.”
Wiebe also spoke to the issue of funding of the programs.
“If the final cut was about budgeting reasons, not saying that I want any other sport or program at the university to be in jeopardy, but lots of programs have two, three, four times the budgetary income and they didn’t have the success of the wrestling team,” she exclaimed.
“So if it was budgetary, if we went ‘Hey, we’ve raised a $150,000, re-instate our program’, I don’t think they could turn that away!”
Many people in attendance are also coaches in the community, including Patrick Winand.
He was the Cougars mens assistant volleyball coach, and presently, a coach with the Regina Volleyball club.
He said he’s fearful these cuts will have a trickle down effect.
“We have over 100 kids in our program within Regina alone,” he said. “So that’s not the entire province that’s looking to play for the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies volleyball program. Now (the cuts) that limits us to one in our province.”