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Free beer and free tuition

When shooting a half-court shot, make sure you have a good running start./Haley Klassen
When shooting a half-court shot, make sure you have a good running start./Haley Klassen

Paying for tuition is as easy as a 46-foot shot

Last weekend, the University of Regina men’s and women’s basketball teams played their first Canada West home games of the season, hosting a successful weekend against Manitoba. There was something a little different about this weekend, though. During the first night of the matchups, there was a particularly special half time show. One lucky fan in attendance was called to the floor to attempt a half-court shot. This half court shot was not all in the name of fun, however, and the stakes were high as the student squared up for her big shot. If the basket was made, the student would win her tuition for the year.

Tiffany Strachan was the lucky winner of the half court shot, but after a dramatic count down, she put up an air ball. Strachan didn’t walk away with the big prize, but that is good news for the rest of us. The University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) is funding the big prize and has budgeted $10,000 for the new initiative, #TuitionSwoosh. The money has been set aside, and will remain untouched, until a student makes a winning shot. Now, at home sporting events, a random fan in attendance (must be a U of R student) will have a chance to take home the grand prize. As URSU VP of External Affairs, Daniella Zemlak announced, “Remember that this is an ongoing initiative so we have all that money in the bank until somebody makes a tuition swoosh!”

The new initiative is an attempt for URSU to not only increase their student contact, but also increase student attendance at U of R sporting events. I took in the Friday night games at the Center for Kinesiology, Health and Sport and was happy with both the number of people in the stands and the performance of our Cougars.

The ladies kicked things off, taking on the 0-2 Bisons. The ladies trailed until the fourth quarter, turning a six-point deficit into a six-point lead. The Cougars held the lead, finishing with a 71-60 win. Charlotte Kot lead in scoring at 23 points and pulled out a double-double with 12 rebounds. The men were also successful on Friday night, leading the Bisons the entire game and finishing with a 98-85 victory. Brandon Tull dominated as the leading scorer for the Cougars, putting up 21 points, but all five starters put up double digits.

The Cougars closed out the weekend with the ladies sweeping the Bisons, improving their Canada West record to 2-2 and the men splitting the weekend with a tough overtime loss on Saturday. The men now sit at a 1-3 record. Both teams will face off at home again this weekend (Nov. 14, 15) against Calgary.

Both the Students Union and the Alumni Association have implemented new strategies to improve university game experiences. Now, students can not only take in tailgate parties with free food and drinks, but also potentially win their tuition at half time. All students are encouraged to come out and cheer on our athletes!

The next opportunity to win your tuition is Nov. 15 at the Co-operator’s Center when the hockey team takes on the U of S.

About Suzanne Barber