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W
ith just over 700 days of work and one finalized
strategic plan under his belt, Athletics and
Recreation Director Pierre Arsenault sat down
to give us some insights into his time at Mount Allison.
WHY WERE THE MOUnTIES SO SUCCESSFUL
THIS YEAR?
Whether it was academic performance improvements, volleyball/
badminton championship titles, football semi-final, hockey play-
offs, or our many conference and national award winners --
victories have come from continuing to establish a culture of
success. The foundation for this year's success has been build-
ing for some time now. We spend time talking with our teams
about bringing permanence to this culture of success. We want
to pay attention to the details of being a successful program, and
emphasize that success is not a `some-of-the-time' thing.
CAn YOU PLAn FOR SUCCESS?
I would argue that it is the only way to achieve sustained success.
We solidified a Strategic Planning process that connected all our
activities, identified priorities, and explained how we will be suc-
cessful in serving these priorities. The `three pillars' of the plan
are: leadership in wellness/active living, excellence in campus
recreation/club sports, and excellence in varsity sports.
WILL THERE BE A FOCUS On PARTICIPATIOn
OR VARSITY SPORTS?
Managing the balance between inclusion and broad-based par-
ticipation versus excellence and investment at the elite sports level
is always challenging. But because of our size and our relative
strength as a University, I believe that we have the opportunity
to succeed at this balance better than most.
We will continue to emphasize broad access through our intra-
murals, club, and fitness programs. And by being efficient with
our resources and strategic in our approach, we can make
a genuine commitment to having continuing success at the
varsity level too.
WHAT HAVE BEEn YOUR BIGGEST CHALLEnGES?
Besides wanting to accomplish everything, immediately, we
are challenged by the need for more resources. We have now
developed the funding strategy to help us reach our goals, and
even though we are a small university, I am optimistic we can
get there. We have to remain successful at using our resources
effectively, and for athletes, we have to ensure that recruits are a
good "fit" for our school and program.
HOW CAn OUR ALUMnI HELP?
I have been really encouraged with the willingness and interest
of our alumni to talk to us. More resources are needed, and
alumni can help, but more importantly we want our alumni
to engage in what is happening. We want to properly represent
the great Mount Allison brand and are working to ensure that
alumni are inspired by our programs and compelled to stay
connected. After all, Mount Allison has proven itself to be the
best undergraduate university in Canada and we are energized
by our belief that Athletics and Recreation can and should
demonstrate this same excellence.
The Arsenault family collects the championship trophy from
courtside, after the women's Volleyball Mounties clinched the
conference title this year in Truro, NS. Missing from the photo is
Pierre's wife, Karen Arsenault ('96).
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``
We are bold
enough to build
that culture of
success through
both inclusion and
excellence for all
by Sue Seaborn