Western Sports and Recreation Services will continue its “proud tradition of excellence” under new leadership as the unit shifts under the leadership of the Associate Vice-President (Student Experience) portfolio, assured Health Sciences Dean Jim Weese. Senate approved the change at its Dec. 4 meeting.
“We have a proud tradition of excellence in our sport and recreation programs at Western,” Weese said. “We continue to lead the country in the number of academic all-Canadians; we hold leadership programs in our sports; our coaches and administrative staff are the best in the country; our Campus Recreation program is considered the top program in the country.”
Sports and Recreation Services has responsibility for all recreational, intramural and fitness sports on campus, along with varsity athletics, and plays a big role in student recruitment, retention, enrichment and preparation.
Since 1971, Sports and Recreation Services has fallen under the Faculty of Physical Education and Athletics, later, the Dean of Kinesiology and, more recently, the Dean of Health Sciences. A number of changes have transpired in both Sports and Recreation Services and Kinesiology/Health Sciences over the years, and the new reporting structure follows the recommendations of the Crawford, Mahon and Moran (September 2011) review, Setting a Place at the Table for SRS: Report of the Review of UWO Sports and Recreation Services.
This latest realignment is similar to the administrative structures in place at other Canadian universities, and responds well to the newly created Student Experience portfolio at Western, led by Jana Luker.
Weese said Sports and Recreation Services is now matched with like-minded units and funding sources, such as the Student Success Centre and the Student Development Centre, and reflects the focus where student athletes and campus recreation participants are drawn from all Western faculties – and all three university colleges – and not exclusively from the School of Kinesiology in Health Sciences.
The change also reflects a major shift in emphasis within the School of Kinesiology to one less focused on sport and more aligned with human movement and health, and the employment realities of contemporary university coaches and recreation personnel, added Weese, with future programming in the School of Kinesiology reflecting that change.
“The move also responds to the current and future changes in leadership and background of leaders in the Faculty of Health Sciences,” he continued.
Since the Sports and Recreation Services move is a “reporting change only,” Kinesiology will still have access to SRS programs for research and/or applied learning opportunities, as will colleagues from other faculties.
“We have every reason to be proud of our program’s accomplishments, and the administrative shift to the new portfolio will support sustained excellence in the years ahead.”