Rugby club runs into dead end

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By Anthony Lopopolo

Ryerson’s rugby club is on the verge of folding after three years of dogged promotion across campus.

Supervisor Ryan Stratton and the RAC failed to come together to devise a plan to attract potential players, with a steady decline in interest compounding the problem.

Duties were not carried out efficiently on the school’s end, said Stratton, who has seen a meagre 10 players pledge money to the club.

“It’s always been a struggle to get with the school. In order for people to be interested, [a team or club] needs to be prestigious, it needs to be well-known, it needs to be a privilege to be a part of that team,” he said.

The cost to join the program stood at $80 per player. Among the items on the bill are bus fares and field charges.

Stratton was also particularly troubled by the fact that registration for the club was not made accessible in the RAC and students were not given information.

The stark drop in applicants is reflective of that ambiguity, as only last year Stratton had the consent of 100 people via email. Despite his complaints, he still shoulders some of the blame.

“The club has to be self-sustaining anyways. We could have gotten more numbers and have a larger commitment from the players.

“Everyone has to be enthusiastic and get to pub nights so people know that [the rugby club] actually exists,” he said. “That’s on us.”

He wishes Ryerson’s athletic board was more willing to nurture budding programs and prevent this kind of fate.

“What’s really frustrating is that the school won’t go out on a limb and fund a new team. Go out and have a facility, have a field, a coach and just start a team,” Stratton said.

Athletic director Ivan Joseph is open to embracing new varsity teams, but rugby isn’t a necessity.

“Do I see rugby in the future? Anything is possible,” Joseph said. “The issue is that I want to make sure we’re doing our [current] sports well before we choose to add any.”

Being a graduate from Ryerson’s radio and television program has deprived Stratton of the time to promote the club capably, and no one has overtaken the operation.

He cancelled the past two meetings with the University of Toronto’s rugby team due to a lack of number.

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