Expanding CIS at TRU
It would seem athletics at Thompson Rivers University will soon take a step forward.
Ken Olynyk, the WolfPack’s athletic director, returned from the Canada West meetings in Calgary with confirmation of recent news: There will likely be three new Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) programs at TRU in 2014.
“We re-affirmed our position on wanting to move soccer, swimming and cross-country [running] to CIS and that will be voted on in May [at the annual general meeting],” Olynyk said.
“The indication that we’ve received is that we will be accepted to move all of them forward in 2014.”
TRU’s soccer teams are members of the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PWAA), which falls under the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) umbrella.
Competition in the CIS ranks is widely regarded to be the toughest in Canadian university sports.
The men’s and women’s soccer teams have had success at the CCAA level. Making the transition to CIS is no small task.
Cross-country is currently run as a club at TRU but, in the past, its members have competed at the PWAA and CCAA championships.
Swimming will be new to TRU in 2014.
Click here for more information on the WolfPack swimming program.
The rumours curling will soon be a WolfPack sport are false.
“That sport doesn’t have a foothold in Canada West or CIS,” Olynyk said.
“Is it a discussion we can have? Yes.
“But, before it would be a full-fledged sport at TRU, we would want to see what it looks like in Canada West.”
TRU is a designated host for the 2013 CIS/Canadian Curling Association Curling Championships, set to run from March 20 to March 24 at Kamloops Curling Club, but the Kamloops university will play a minimal role in organizing the tournament.
“The Kamloops Curling Club came to us because they needed a university as part of the package, otherwise they couldn’t host,” Olynyk said.
“TRU sits on a committee and partners in a few areas, but KCC and CCA are putting the event on.”
There will be two WolfPack teams in action at the tournament — Tiffany Krausher, Alyssa Kyllo, Ashley Nordin, Kym Edgeworth and Katie Hill make up the women’s team, with Darren Nelson, Russ Koffski, Jared Jenkins, Michael Hiram and David Gore set to play on the men’s squad.
Moving more programs to the CIS ranks only improves TRU’s credibility in athletics and, for Olynyk, it’s almost a case of having to keep up with the Jones’ on campus.
“We are, in a sense, growing as a university,” he said.
“We have graduate programs. We have a law school. We’ve already been identified as one of the research-intensive universities of B.C.
“Moving forward, [athletics] wants to be aligned with all other aspects of the institution.
“I think that’s what’s occurring.”