Rugby should stay at Laurier Waterloo
The Laurier athletics department is in the early stages of discussion surrounding the transfer of the men’s and women’s varsity rugby teams to the Brantford campus.
If the teams were to be transferred to Brantford, the additional cost of daily transportation would impede the accessibility of the sport to those in Waterloo. Adding the commute to the players’ schedule, which is already filled with games and practices, would require a huge amount of the students’ time.
Student athletes often choose Laurier specifically for the varsity sports they are recruited for. It is unfair to entice students to come to Laurier’s Waterloo campus to play rugby and then alter the circumstances of the team so drastically.
It is also unreasonable to ask student athletes who are already enrolled at the Waterloo campus to transfer to Brantford. Laurier Brantford does not offer the same programs as Laurier Waterloo, so this would hinder the advancement of current players already working towards their university degree.
One of the reasons for the potential move is because Brantford students pay athletic fees, yet no varsity sports are available to them. If the university is concerned about Laurier Brantford paying fees and getting nothing in return, they should consider starting up varsity teams for other sports at the campus.
Though Brantford could benefit from the rugby program’s move, sending the rugby teams – or any varsity team for that matter –would ultimately do disservice to the players. The positive effects of bringing sports teams to Brantford would not be enough to justify the inconvenience to the students who currently play.
The university has already cut funding from the rugby teams, requiring players to pay not only for their equipment, but for the opportunity to be on the team. Despite this, the men’s rugby team has been very successful this year, making it to the quarterfinals.
Forcing the team to relocate would be yet another obstacle for Laurier students hoping to play rugby.