With sub-zero temperatures hovering over Algonquin and major league spring training still weeks away, thoughts of baseball may seem a distant dream. And based on the athletic association’s limitations, the idea of a Thunder ball team won’t be arriving any time soon — if at all.
“We’ve committed ourselves to two indoor teams (volleyball and basketball) and two outdoor (rugby and soccer) teams,” said Ian Campbell, athletics communications and events coordinators. “Adding another would have a considerable financial impact and would propose logistical issues, as well.”
Still, the question remains: Algonquin athletics has shown success in provincial and national competitions in recent years, so why not expand into other varsity leagues?
The Thunder Athletics department is run by the Students’ Association, meaning it is funded by students. Spending responsibly and ensuring costs remain within budget are a priority when funding a varsity league team in the OCAA. Focusing on what sports are already active is more important than bringing in another one, according to Campbell.
The sport itself entails a lot of finances but what makes bringing a team to Algonquin extremely difficult is what’s involved outside the sport. The athletics department would have to book hotel rooms, field times and events, which would mean additional staff and a lot more stress.
“In terms of support staff, I am not sure that we could handle two more teams women’s and men’s) competing in the fall semester,” said Campbell. “Adding another 10 home games and 10 away games would be very challenging and problematic.”
Unfortunately for Algonquin, along with La Cité Collegiale, are the only Ottawa located colleges in the OCAA; baseball/softball is mainly Toronto area teams. The men’s baseball league has six teams while women’s softball has seven.
“Their proximity to each other means that they don’t have to do many overnight trips, and that saves them a lot of cash,” said Campbell. “Toronto schools probably wouldn’t be very interested in adding road trips down to Algonquin either.”
Football, hockey and baseball/softball are the most common sports the college community continues to ask about according to Campbell. The OCAA only has baseball/softball leagues, however, making the thought of a team more realistic than the others.
The Ontario College Athletics Association consists of five league sports for both men and women: soccer, basketball, volleyball, rugby, and baseball/softball. Currently, the college has varsity teams for all of those sports except men’s baseball and women’s softball.