Golf program slashed at UBC-Okanagan

Click to play video: 'Students disappointed after golf program cut at UBC Okanagan'
Students disappointed after golf program cut at UBC Okanagan
The UBC Okanagan golf program is being axed due to budget cuts, but as Klaudia Van Emmerik reports, participants are coming out swinging to save their varsity sport – Feb 18, 2017

It’s a well loved game in the Okanagan with no shortage of places to play so news that the golf program is being cut at UBC-Okanagan may come as a surprise.

“It’s upsetting,” UBC-O student and golfer McKenna Lesiuk said. “It is kind of hard to understand because this is the Okanagan and we are known for our golf.”

The UBC-O golf program started back in 2008. Since its inception, it has resulted in national medals and even produced a national champion.

“There has been a lot of success so the timing is a little unfortunate,” UBC-O student and golfer James Casorso said.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

UBC-O officials say the tough decision was based on budget pressures.

“Expenses do go up and revenues have not gone up to keep pace and as a result we can’t balance the budget,” UBC-O director of athletics and recreation Rob Johnson said.

Story continues below advertisement

The annual cost to run the golf program ranges between $40,000 and $60,000, money that’s needed for other university sports like basketball, volleyball and soccer which all fall under the Canadian Interuniversity Sport umbrella.

“Unfortunately golf at the college level that we compete at doesn’t attract a lot of spectators so the number of people benefiting from program directly and indirectly was down to a small number compared to any of our other sports,” Johnson said. “So it made sense that that would be the sport that would impact the fewest people.”

There are a dozen students involved in the university’s golf program. The students are now hoping to raise at least $20,000 to save the 2017 season. They are in the midst of organizing local fundraising events and are hoping to raise money through the Adopt-An-Athlete website.

Sponsored content