By JORDAN TOUGAS

 

A NAIT Ooks Men’s Hockey player is stepping up to tell NAIT that he wants athletes involved in budget discussions.

Brendan Jensen is the starting goalie for the Ooks’ Men’s Hockey team. In December, he started a petition asking NAIT’s Board of Governors not to cut their funding.

“The topic came to our attention when our athletic director, John Bower created a focus group for the team,” said Jensen, “The focus group introduced us as players towards the issues and we decided to do something about it.”

Jensen created the petition on change. org after talking with other athletes at NAIT. The online petition has over 700 signatures and the hard copy petition received over 150 signatures.

Jensen wants to ensure that players will no longer be held in the dark when changes are happening in the athletics department and that there is a collaborative environment next time so these issues don’t come up again.

The petition supports full-time coaches, on-campus athletic trainers and full-time strength and conditioning coaches. The petition says that these supports help student-athletes succeed both in their sport and in their programs at NAIT. The petition asks NAIT’s Board of Governors to continue to fully fund the athletics department as well as to create a system that allows student-athletes to be better represented to the Board of Governors.

This is Jenson’s last year as an Ook as he finishes up his time in the Bachelor of Business Administration program. After he graduates, he’ll head back home to California.

“I own a small company down [in California] and I really liked what NAIT’s business program had to offer and how well known the school is in the west… and once I found out that they had a hockey program, it played hand in hand,” said Jensen.

Even though he won’t be attending NAIT next year, Jensen hopes that all future student-athletes have the funding they need for equipment and staff.

“It starts with equipment. The biggest thing from our standpoint is that we have guys who have played 5 years on the team and are still using the same helmet,” he said.

NAIT says that they have not made any decisions on next year’s budget and that they are reviewing the Athletics Department’s operations.