By Peter Evans
For Ryerson athletics, living on a tight budget is par for the course.
But the Friends of Ryerson Hockey Alumni are hoping to change that with a charity golf tournament to raise money for student athletics. On Sept. 17, the Wild Winds Golf Club in Rockwood, Ont., will host the first annual Ryerson Building Champions Golf Classic.
Tournament organizer Sasha Simic says as many as 50 golfers will be taking part. “Considering it’s the first year, we’re doing very well,” says Simic, a former Ryerson athlete of the year who graduated last year.
The tournament is the brain-child of a group of Rams hockey alumni. They had been meeting every year in June for a friendly round of golf, but thought a tournament would be a good way to raise money.
Mick Mitrovic, assistant coach of the men’s hockey team and a Ryerson grad in 1996, says the new charity game is about helping the Rams of today. “The intent is to set up some bursaries and help cover the costs of equipment, travel and meals,” Mitrovic says. “When you’re a student, finance is always primary on your mind, but it ends up being secondary in reality,” he says.
There are even a few celebrity guests lined up. Hockey Night in Canada’s Harry Neale is to attend, as is former NHL player Derek Smith. Smith’s father, Julian, was a Ryerson grad in 1952, and Neale is a personal friend of the Ryerson alumnus.
For now, the tournament will only benefit Rams hockey. But it’s only the first event of a Ryerson-wide campaign to increase funding for all athletics. “We want to spread it to all sports eventually,” Simic says, “and that’s not just hoping. We’re going to do it.” The tournament has several corporate sponsors to help cover costs, and they hope to raise $5,000. Tickets to the event cost $200.