YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Eastern Gateway Community College announced Tuesday that it will be promoting intercollegiate athletics, and is hoping to begin competition by the 2017-18 academic year.
Eastern Gateway is looking to add men’s and women’s basketball, men’s baseball and women’s softball programs.
The school intends to join the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC). The NJCAA is a community college counterpart to the NCAA.
Eastern Gateway believes that by adding sports to the educational experience, not only will more students be attracted to the college, but students will be more involved and it will enhance pride on campus and in the community.
Eastern Gateway says they won’t add a tuition fee for sports. Instead, they plan to raise $100,000 to start the baseball and softball programs. That fundraising plan includes a downtown sports festival this August that could include a 5K and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
Cuyahoga Community College, Lakeland in Kirtland and the Community College in Beaver County have all had athletics since the 1970s, but for Eastern Gateway, this is something new.
“It’s my belief that athletics will attract more students to our college. And it will enhance pride in both the college campus and our communities,” Eastern Gateway President Jimmie Bruce said.