Lancer future: big plans brewing for Lancer sports

To fit with the theme of ideas, it is pertinent to note that the Lancers athletics department combined with the institution have had a detailed master plan in place for the better part of a year. With vision in place, athletic director Mike Havey and his staff must now set their sights on execution of a capital project which would update the St. Denis Centre, making it one of the top athletics facilities in the province.

Enhanced athletics facilities in the campus master plan will help to boost Windsor’s position as a host of top tier athletic events. Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Enhanced athletics facilities in the campus master plan will help to boost Windsor’s position as a host of top tier athletic events. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Enhanced athletics facilities in the campus master plan will help to boost Windsor’s position as a host of top tier athletic events. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Mike Specht

Sports Editor

To fit with the theme of ideas, it is pertinent to note that the Lancers athletics department combined with the institution have had a detailed master plan in place for the better part of a year.  With vision in place, athletic director Mike Havey and his staff must now set their sights on execution of a capital project which would update the St. Denis Centre, making it one of the top athletics facilities in the province.

The project, which was reported in a February edition of The Lance, would add several amenities to the ageing gym, including the expansion of the forge and the addition of several multi-purpose rooms.

Though the disbanding of the University of Windsor Student Alliance (UWSA) provides a minor setback to the project, which athletics and recreational services had hoped to bring to a referendum next year.  Havey admits that the added time could be beneficial to the success of the project.

“The fact that it’s delayed perhaps isn’t a bad thing.  The scope of the project we are imagining is beyond what we could reasonably ask students to pay for themselves. The gap between what we think we can expect from students and the final numbers is substantial enough that we need to look at potential funding from a number of sources,” said Havey.

Those other sources would include possible of partnerships with branches of government as well as potential Canada Infrastructure Grants.  The application for such grants are cyclical meaning that The University of Windsor would not be able to apply for one until the next round of funding becomes available some time next year.

Not only would the addition to the St. Denis Centre be an asset to all students at the University of Windsor – but it would also greatly improve the school’s capacity to host elite tournaments like the Bronze Baby championship that we saw in March.

Lancer alumni and former president of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment Richard Peddie took to Twitter with his ambitious idea for Lance reporter Ankur Kumar.

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Sadly for Lancers hockey fans the tournament could prove to be too rich for a small market lacking in corporate backing.  The 2014 CIS men’s nationals in Saskatchewan ran in the neighbourhood of $750,000, roughly five times what Windsor shelled out to host women’s basketball.

“I’m glad that Richard thinks we are capable of pulling it off. Men’s hockey and basketball are big nuts to crack and I would be worried about putting us financially at risk by taking on something of that magnitude.  I just got this job, and I’d like to keep it,” chuckled Havey, who recently had the interim tag removed from his title.

Although fans may not be able to see the men’s hockey team compete for a national title on home court, Windsor is set to host the CIS track and field championship next march.  The Lancers, who won bronze in Edmonton this year, will look to reclaim Canadian track supremacy on home soil in 2015.

In addition to the domestic happenings, the OUA has just announced that each team will combine to create a central webcast network oua.tv. That way collegiate sports fans can follow their teams even on the road.  Following a season that brought three OUA titles, and a national championship to Windsor, there still seems to be plenty left to get excited about for 2015 in blue and gold nation.

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