It was only a couple of weeks ago when Samson Wong and fellow archery enthusiasts found out they had secured funds to start their club. But the path that leo to that point has not been easy.
“I think the overall process isn’t very clear,” says Wong. “There’s no real guideline on how to be successful in creating a club.”
On the surface, creating an athletics club is simple. First, you apply to Ryerson athletics by late January if you want to start a club in September. Once you have met the necessary requirements, namely the financial one, then you’re ready to go.
But that’s where gets complicated.
“Athletics funds varsity sports, but they don’t have a funding model for interest clubs based on athletic sports,” says Lesley D’Souza, Ryerson Student Life’s programs co-ordinator and chair of the Project Funding Allocation Committee for Students (P-FACS).
It’s fortunate for Wong’s group that Ryerson has P-FACS because that is where the archery club secured its $5,000, the maximum given.
P-FACS isn’t clubs-specific. It funds any project that enhances student life, promotes the university and assists in developing a sense of community. Recipients of its money include Ryerson Dance Pak, Function Magazine, and the Connect IT conference.
Varsity operations co-ordinator at Ryerson athletics, Nick Asquini, says a lot of sports can turn to their provincial or national sports organizations to ask for grants.
But archery isn’t one of them. It also doesn’t help that archery requires a specific kind of space to stay safe.
For Wong’s group, their challenge is to turn Kerr Hall’s lower gym into an archery range. The backdrop netting itself costs hundreds of dollars. They also need targets, bows, arrows and storage cabinets.
“We don’t have an archery facility,” says Asquini. “So when you’re trying to work around existing facilities, to fit a sport into a space that it wasn’t intended for, it can be challenging.”
The process of that, which began in January, has not been one without frustration — Wong’s still having a hard time grasping what he thinks of everything that has happened.
“I wouldn’t go as far as say they’re justified,” he said of the wait times between each of the meetings with the athletics department.
“But it really made me think of whether or not I want the club, and how committed I am to the club succeeding.”