Although not many know about the varsity sport, the relationship between McMaster sports and the varsity golf team are on bad terms.
It’s been two months since most varsity sports have begun, with the largest emphasis thus far on the football and the soccer teams and their success this season. However, there are many other sports that are a part of the McMaster community which do not get as much attention as others. One of these sports is golf.
Currently, if you were to search up the roster for the men’s and women’s golf teams on the Marauders website, you would end up with an “Error 404” message. This essentially means that the editors of the website and the sports committee have not been updating the community on every team within the university. That is not the only outdated team page on the website. If one was to search up the rowing or the fastpitch teams, they would be greeted with the 2019 rosters, even though the current 2021 seasons are well underway.
Recently, the men’s golf team took part in the Ontario University Athletics regional qualifiers in Pickering where they finished in fourth place, meaning that they qualified to the national tournament in the spring.
Although the men’s golf team reached remarkable success, they have not received much attention throughout the season. With only one article written about them on the Marauders website this season, their last spotlight on McMasters Sports page was in 2017.
Kavith Ranchagoda, a second-year computer engineering and management student, spoke about the mistreatment and the lack of effort McMaster puts into his varsity team.
“We did really well at the start of the season. We [tied for third] in the provincials and now we’re going to compete in the nationals . . . They barely cover us in the media and when they do, it’s like a line or two,” said Kavith.
Kavith is considered as one of the best players that McMaster has to offer in golf. Competing at numerous regional and national tournaments in Canada, he excelled at every single one and was considering moving to the United States for further golf success when COVID-19 hit.
“Last year just before COVID-19 hit, I was meant to move to the U.S. for golf scholarships, but then the pandemic started. I chose McMaster instead not only because of my program, but because I [expected] good support from the athletics department as a golfer,” explained Ranchagoda.
During the Pickering regionals, Ranchagoda managed to tie ninth place in the whole competition, proving that he is an incredible asset to the varsity team. He believes that he will do even better at the national tournament in the spring.
“The provincial qualifier was a really good showing from me and I am proud of it. However, I do think that I will do even better in a couple of months when we start playing again,” said Ranchagoda.
However, Ranchagoda also explained the disadvantages associated with being a part of the golf team. He expressed his concern with the financing, the maltreatment and the obsolete feeling that the golf team has.
“Although we are really happy with our performances, it’s not perfect. Our coach is the one that buys extra gear and he facilitates us for every tournament that we play. McMaster does not provide us with extra gear,” said Ranchagoda.
Perhaps the worst part of the whole treatment of the golf team is the “yearly fee” that the varsity players have to pay to take part.
Ranchagoda’s statements certainly reveal a lot about how the McMaster varsity department is treating its sports teams with inequality. Without a doubt, this is a call for change within varsity teams in the university.