The University of Ottawa Sports Services, in conjunction with Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) and Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announced two updates to sport conference participation on Monday. The Gee-Gees varsity swimming team will withdraw from OUA competition and compete in the RSEQ conference beginning with the 2018-19 season, while the Gee-Gees Nordic skiing competitive sport club will join the OUA conference as an official competitor in 2018-19.
"Core to our high-performance review was ensuring we were placing our student-athletes in what we feel is the best overall competitive experience with a prime consideration for the student-experience," says Roger Archambault, Assistant Director, High Performance, at Sports Services. "For our varsity swim team we are convinced this decision will allow for high level competition while affording our student-athletes a better overall season layout which minimizes travel and increases the number of competitions we are able to attend within the conference circuit."
"We are also thrilled about the addition of the Nordic program to the competitive sport club structure and OUA provides a strong culture and competitive environment for this sport which our team can thrive in," continues Archambault.
The Gee-Gees swimming team has enjoyed success in its many years in the OUA, including 104 total team medals at OUA championships since 2010, and a second-place team finish by the Gee-Gees men in 2018. Head coach Dave Heinbuch was named the OUA Coach of the Year in 2018.
"We are extremely excited to be joining the RSEQ. The league set-up provides great competition that this is going to help us with our goals at the U SPORTS Championships," notes Heinbuch, who has been head coach of the Gee-Gees for the last five seasons.
As part of joining the RSEQ, uOttawa will host a University Cup meet in November. The Gee-Gees will also compete at other University Cup meets at Laval, McGill, Montreal, and Sherbrooke in October and November. All University Cup events allow teams to earn points towards a conference championship. The RSEQ conference championship meet is held in early February.
The Gee-Gees Nordic skiing team was recognized as a competitive sport club under Sports Services as part of the high performance review undertaken in 2017, as announced on January 10. The Nordic team will join four other established competitive sport clubs (badminton, fencing, women's golf, and men's water polo) on the OUA circuit. The OUA Championships are held in late February.