Red Deer College golfers handily clinched championship titles.
But that didn’t stop their athletic program from being cancelled by college administrators Thursday, due to tight financial times.
“It was truly a difficult decision,” said Paulette Hanna, vice-president of academic at RDC.
With a slow economy and many competing fundraisers, sponsorships and donations to the college are down. With only 13 student golfers in a program that costs $50,000 annually, it was hard to rationalize continuing it, said Hanna.
She said RDC administrators will be helping students who would like to transfer to another institution with a golfing program.
Ironically, 2018 was a great year for the RDC golfing Kings and Queens.
RDC Queens won the national golf title at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Golf Championships in Medicine Hat last fall — and third-year golfer Shaye Leidenius won silver.
“I can’t say enough. They’re great players and they were able to bring it when it really mattered,” stated RDC golf coach Scott Bergdahl at the time.
At the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Golf Championships at Alberta Springs Golf Resort last September, both the RDC Kings and Queens finished in the top three, with the Kings earning bronze in team play and the Queens finishing with silver.
In the inaugural mixed-team event, RDC also earned gold.
RDC Kings first-year golfer Chase Broderson of Lacombe finished with silver.
And Leidenius, the defending ACAC champion and the reigning ACAC women’s player of the year, managed a bronze medal finish.
“At RDC, we are proud of all of our student athletes and coaches, and the legacy they’ve achieved,” said Hanna, who noted some golfing students were attending on scholarships and came from out of province.