Source: University of Winnipeg Press Release
WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg announced today that it is adding baseball to its family of Wesmen sports teams. Student-athletes in the Wesmen baseball program will begin classes and training in September 2011 with its full slate of games beginning in the Spring of 2012.
In its first full season of competition, the team will play 35 to 40 spring games against National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Junior Colleges Athletic Association (NJCAA) competition. The goal is to have the program compete as a full member of the NAIA within a few years. The closest NAIA conference is the Dakota Athletic Conference, which features schools in North and South Dakota.
“The addition of a baseball program is another example of how we are meeting the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on Athletics and Academics,” said UWinnipeg President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lloyd Axworthy. “One of the mandates from the Task Force was that we broaden and deepen our athletic programs, both from a community and competitive perspective. There are increasing demands for university and community sports programming – meaningful programming that goes beyond our traditional views of sport. By adding baseball, we further meet these demands in a positive way.”
Like all Wesmen teams, the baseball team will do more than just play games.
“The student-athletes in our baseball program will give back to the community at large and, in particular, the inner-city community by holding camps, workshops and clinics,” said Athletic Director Doran Reid. “Baseball is a popular sport that continues to show growth in the downtown and in the Aboriginal communities. We look forward to working with partners like Baseball Manitoba and the Winnipeg Goldeyes to develop the sport within our community.”
The University announced that Guy Yerama and Mike Krykewich will coach the Wesmen baseball team. Both individuals have significant coaching experience within the province. The team will play its games at Shaw Park – home of the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association. Shaw Park is one of the top minor professional parks in North America.