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Selkirk begins to rebuild athletic program

The long process to bring Selkirk back to the BCCAA has now commenced.

By The Nelson Daily Sports

Kim Verigin knows it’s going to be a tough road ahead to get Selkirk back in the B.C. College Athletic Association.

However, the Athletic Coordinator has never been afraid of a good fight.

Selkirk informed the BCCAA executive the college will not participate in the 2011-12 season and will not be able to make a further commit until a minimum level of stability is reached.

“The Saints pulled out of the current season due to low numbers, a BCCAA executive decision, and the projections of players from within the local high school programs that suggest low numbers will continue for at least another year or two,” Verigin said in a written press release.

Verigin added league dynamics was also a significant factor as many BCCAA members have recently been preparing for the jump to CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport).

“Others have made the transition from a college to university leaving only handful of two year institutions in the league,” he said.

Selkirk petitioned the BCCAA executive to allow only the women’s volleyball team to participate during the 2010-11 season after it was realized that the men’s team could not fulfill its league requirements.

This was due to a shortage of committed players for the upcoming season.

That request was denied due to the fact that league schedules are based on both genders traveling and competing at the same time.

“The premise of the program was to give local student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a very high level and to have some success . . . but if the numbers are not there, it is difficult to develop consistency,” Verigin explained.

So now comes the hard part. Rebuilding a once proud and successful program.

Part of the strategic plan is to support the development of programs in the region including junior and senior high school teams and club teams.

“It is evident in many local schools that the number of players at the grade 8-10 levels is quite healthy,” Verigin said.  “If we can help these schools and others to encourage more participation and skill development the gap may close or disappear altogether.”

In the meantime, the Saints volleyball men’s and women’s program will continue to provide committed student-athletes with a competitive two-semester schedule against colleges and universities in BC and Washington.

The final event of this semester is a tournament Saturday and Sunday sponsored by the Pacific Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (PIVA) at Gonzaga University in Spokane.

There was a time when the Saints volleyball program was considered one of the powers in the BCCAA.

During a three-year cycle Selkirk won three consecutive Totem Conference titles (the name of the league) in 1989, 90 and 91.
Selkirk also fielded teams in soccer, basketball and hockey.

sports@thenelsondaily.com