New fund developed for RDC athletics

Student athletes at Red Deer College will soon benefit from a new fund for the Athletics Department.

The Athletics Leadership Fund was announced at RDC’s eighth annual scholarship breakfast last week, and the intent is to have the fund supplement the Athletics budget, which currently sits at $675,000 per year, giving the department the ability to take some pressure off student-athletes, bring in full time coaches and trainers, and also revive discontinued programs, like Kings hockey, which was cut years ago due to a lack of money.

“I said that when we first started looking at this fund, that I’ve been here for 16 years now and it just always feels like the roof’s on fire,” said Athletics Director Keith Hansen, who pointed out that athletic programs also play a part in building leaders within the community.

“You’re always looking for another dime here, trying to squish that one over there and move this money from there to there. Our administration has done just a wonderful job of identifying that and understanding where we need to go. They came to me with this idea and, obviously, as athletic director, I’m going, when senior administration comes to you saying “Hey, we’d like to do this”, you’re going, that is absolutely wonderful.”

The fund, which RDC is hoping to grow to $8 million dollars over the next five years, was kicked off with a $250,000 donation from local businessman Doug Quinn.

“To have Quinn jump in with that (donation), it’s just an amazing start to this fund,” beamed Hansen.

“I hope it sends a little bit of a signal to the community and I think a lot of people know us, and we have a lot of supporters and I really do believe it’s going to be something that the community gets behind.”

Melody Davidson, who won three Olympic gold medals with Canada’s national women’s hockey team, delivered the keynote address at the breakfast, and said she will do whatever she can to help grow this fund.

“Central Alberta is near and dear to my heart. I have family in Delburne, and the college really was a saviour for me, coming from a small town,” said Davidson, who graduated from RDC in 1984 before serving as recreation director in the Town of Castor for nine years.

“I really believe in the opportunity to start out slow and work your way to the top or work your way through things. I think this leadership initiative is going to be second to none and it’s desperately needed. Leadership is something that isn’t learned as easily as it used to be and I think it’s important that we continue to cultivate it.”

Davidson also pointed out the impact that athletics and sport can have on the community.

“I went to Red Deer College when the men’s hockey team was at the top of the game and winning national championships and I remember how much the school rallied and what a big point it was, even for Red Deer,” said Davidson.

“I think it’s a shame that young Central Alberta kids don’t have that opportunity right here. And it’s interesting because you don’t normally say that the girls have an opportunity that the boys don’t. On one hand, I’m glad about that but on the other hand, I love the game and I think that boys and girls should be able to have that opportunity.”

And while bringing back Kings hockey is top priority for Hansen, he also likes the idea of the fund allowing student-athletes to focus more on school and sport and a little less on fundraising.

“Our student-athletes raise anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000 a year, through bake sales, Centrium clean up, bingos and all of that,” said Hansen.

“And you know, that takes a lot of time away from their overall purpose of being a student and also being an athlete. We do realize that part of the process is doing some fundraising, so they appreciate it but, to be honest, we’ve probably been taxing them a little bit too much.”

Just Posted

RCMP offer crime prevention tips for the holiday season

Red Deer RCMP give tips so holidays aren’t marred by theft or damage

Dan Davidson up for five ACMA Awards

Davidson will head to Red Deer with Brett Kissel in the New Year

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

RCMP lay 34 charges in stolen vehicle operation

Red Deer RCMP arrest 13 people in four-day covert stolen vehicle operation last week

Last Christmas for Ten Thousand Villages in Red Deer

The fair trade organization will be closing its doors in the New Year

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Most Read