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University of Ottawa Sports Services launches national recognition program

Thursday October 4, 2012

The University of Ottawa Sports Services is pleased to announce that the women’s soccer, men’s football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball teams will be the first group of varsity programs to participate in a new national recognition program.

The selected programs will have access to additional resources from Sports Services, effective immediately and continuing through to the 2016-17 seasons. The resources will be invested in strategic areas, focusing primarily on leadership and recruitment, to elevate and maintain the teams as national leaders.

“This announcement brings the University of Ottawa and the Gee-Gees forward very quickly in terms of our commitment to achieving success at the national level,” stated Colin Timm, Assistant Director, Programs and Services. “We are confident that this process and investment in our programs will result in the University of Ottawa continuing to be a destination of choice for the top coaches and student-athletes in the nation.”

The remaining varsity programs will continue to operate at their existing support levels. There was also a recommendation to expand support Individual student-athletes from any varsity team who may be eligible for national team participation.

Following the conclusion of the 2016-17 varsity seasons, Sports Services will conduct a subsequent varsity sport evaluation to assess the status of the current programs and the potential for additional ones to be included in the next cycle.

“Following the announcement I’m excited and hopeful that this leads to an even greater commitment from the school in terms of performance and hopefully that is contagious within the community and our alumni. The University is taking the first steps towards excellence. It’s going to take everyone to take it over the top, but this is the first step and being selected is an honour,” commented Gee-Gees men’s basketball coach James Derouin. 

Steve Johnson, who has been the head coach of the women’s soccer team since it began in 1994, echoed Derouin’s thoughts. “We’re very happy to be selected and to have the support of the University to keep our program at the top of the national rankings.”  The women’s soccer team has been one of the University’s most successful programs of the last decade, appearing at the national championships six times in the past ten seasons and winning four medals over that time. This year’s squad is heading into the stretch run of their regular season, ranked number one in Canada with a 10-0-1 record and five games remaining.

The four programs were identified through an extensive varsity sport evaluation process undertaken as part of Sports Services’ strategic planning in December of 2011. A working group developed the framework under which each varsity program was evaluated. The framework consisted of 21 weighted criteria within five categories: performance at the provincial level (OUA or RSEQ), performance at a national level (CIS), academic performance, national recognition potential and revenue generation potential.

The full breakdown of the evaluation criteria is available within the Varsity Sport Evaluation Report on the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees website.