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Application process for Varsity Club status

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Over the past 12 months, the University of Ottawa Sports Service has carried out a Varsity and Competitive Sport Club (CSC) Program review. The purpose of these reviews were to validate the pertinence of these programs, evaluate their operation and to assess the overall Gee-Gees Sport Model. On the basis of the findings from these reviews, Sports Services will be implementing in stages a new and more comprehensive Sport Model commencing in 2017-18.

The initial implementation stage of the Sport Model will see a new Varsity Base model put in place to support our Varsity Teams as they compete for National Championships within USPORTS over the course of time as of May 1st, 2017.

As a second stage of implementation, a new tier will be introduced into the Sport Model as of September 2018. This new tier will be identified as the Varsity Club tier with a more significant attention and expectation of high performance processes and outcomes, and the capacity to compete for a conference championship as being the Varsity Club tier goal of any program that would be included.

This tier will primarily allow for the expansion of the service levels and competition access witnessed by the current CSC Programs (e.g. allowing access to OUA or RSEQ Conference league play). Primarily a pay-to-play Varsity tier, some work still remains to finalize the model and the specifics of the service levels within the model. A process must now be initiated in order to allow Sports Services to identify the potential teams for inclusion in the new sports model Varsity Club tier as we are required to declare the uOttawa sport teams to the conference no later than December 1st, 2017.

This process will become the mechanism by which sport teams may apply for future consideration as a Sport Model program and will be conducted on a 3-year basis. As such this initial pilot will be conducted with the next possible window of evaluation then moving to the fall of 2020.
This Varsity Club Evaluation process will rank each applicant program on Competition, Administration, Training Environment and Governance. Teams/clubs with the highest ranking will be considered for promotion to Varsity Club. However, other regulatory requirements will also influence the final selection of any sport team to the Varsity Club tier, including, but not limited to such things as our requirement to respect gender equity within Varsity programming.

The process will be completed in 2 Stages. Stage 1 requires the completion of a pre-qualification questionnaire and the submission of certain key documents as a primary assessment for a potential nomination as a Varsity Club. Only a select number of applications will then be vetted by Stage 2.

All clubs/teams who complete Stage 1 will be advised of their assessment no later than October 2nd and if successfully retained, will be provided the conditions and requirements for completion of Stage 2. This 2-stage process is meant to minimize the work of clubs/teams who do not meet the standards we are seeking, as well as to minimize the work required to process evaluations in Stage 2. By no means does inclusion in Stage 2 mean a nomination as a Varsity Club.

It is also essential to understand that nomination to the Varsity Club tier will not be permanent. All Varsity clubs will be subject to an annual reporting process and assessment to confirm status after the three-year period is complete.
All decisions rendered by these processes will be final.

Sports Services is cognizant of the desire of most teams to aspire to Varsity status, however, the implications on our resources (funds, human resources, time and infrastructure), even with a pay-to play model are important and far-reaching. As such, this process, which provides an equitable and merit based approach will be the method of ascension or regression moving forward.

With this correspondence, the process is now underway. Please see the attached Stage 1 questionnaire which must be completed along with the supporting evidences by September 18th, 2017. Please note that no late submissions will be accepted. No CSC program will lose their status regardless of the outcome of the evaluation. As well, teams that are not currently within the University’s current sport model will by virtue of this evaluation process also be considered for CSC program status for 2018-19.

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We look forward to reviewing your submissions. Good luck. Should you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact Roger Archambault at: roger.archambault@uOttawa.ca.

Yours truly,
Sue Hylland
Director of Sports Services University of Ottawa