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Golf returns to SAIT, team to be led by local golf pro

Stephen Yanitski
CALGARY, ALTA., (May 28, 2018) - Nearly 20 years after putting their clubs away, the SAIT Trojans will return to the golf course.

Today, the Trojans announced that local golf pro Stephen Yanitski will be the new head coach of SAIT's golf team, which was approved to compete once again in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) at the league's spring meetings earlier this month in Camrose, Alta. They last competed in the ACAC back in the 2001/02 season.

"It's huge that SAIT is providing another option for young golfers who are looking to get a quality education while living the varsity athlete lifestyle," says Yanitski. "I can't wait to get out on the course and get started, and to add to a winning tradition here at SAIT."

Yanitski, currently an assistant golf professional at Calgary's Valley Ridge Golf Club, has previous experience with post-secondary golf, as he played for, and was an assistant coach with, the University of Alberta as recently as 2017.

"Once it was known that SAIT's application to compete in golf was accepted, Stephen reached out to us about our head coach position," Wade Kolmel, SAIT's Director of Athletics and Recreation says. "Based on his experience as both a player and coach at the post-secondary level, we felt that he would be the ideal choice to lead our team. His passion for golf fits in nicely with our stable of Trojans coaches who strive for excellence."

Last year, the Trojans were granted the ability to compete in the ACAC's South Regional qualifier at Desert Blume Golf Club in Medicine Hat, Alta. as a guest, and saw their six-man team place fourth out of 10 teams.

Because of that measure of success, Kolmel made the decision to apply for membership in the ACAC.

"We are excited to have both men and women compete for us in the sport of golf," he says. "Golf is a growing sport, Calgary is a golf city, and the demand for it has grown, nationally. Because of all that, we felt it was a perfect time to add this to our inventory of Trojans athletic programs."

Due to the constraints of Canadian weather, the ACAC golf season is a short one, and will consist of three events - the ACAC North Regional, hosted by Portage College at Lac La Biche Golf Club Sept 15-16; the ACAC South Regional, hosted by Concordia University of Edmonton at a yet-to-be-determined course Sept. 22-23; and the ACAC Championships, hosted by Red Deer College at a yet-to-be-determined course Sept. 29-30.

It's Yanitski's experience with not only golf, but post-secondary golf, that will come into play as a coach.

"Helping our student athletes navigate a golf course will be a major part of what I do, but what often gets overlooked is the mental side of the game," he says. "Most of the athletes will have experience playing in tournaments, but it's a different ball game when it becomes a team sport, and you have teammates relying on you as well. That can bring a lot of pressure, and that's where I will be able to step in and hopefully provide some guidance."

Any male or female looking to join SAIT's golf team can email Trojans Athletics Manager Bob Murray here.