Student athletes continue their sports journey remotely

If you were to look eight months ago at the college’s sports scene for the Algonquin Thunder, winter varsity sports were going to go as planned along with regular basketball and volleyball games. Fast forward to today, and it seems like the sports world at Algonquin College and the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) has […]
Photo: Kened Sadiku
The Ron Port Athletic Facility entrance doors with a sign that says the gymnasium is currently closed.

If you were to look eight months ago at the college’s sports scene for the Algonquin Thunder, winter varsity sports were going to go as planned along with regular basketball and volleyball games.

Fast forward to today, and it seems like the sports world at Algonquin College and the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) has a lineup of question marks around it.

With the recent announcement of winter varsity sports being cancelled by the OCAA, athletes at Algonquin College will have to wait another semester to get back on the court.

For athletes, this can be tough as the thought of missing what they love to do can have a negative impact on them.

Take Julien Caswell for example.

Caswell, 20, is a second-year student in the health and fitness promotion program and is also a senior player for the men’s volleyball team. He says the bond his team had, is something he misses in during times like these.

“The other aspect that hurts is team bonding,” said Caswell. “The sooner we take this seriously and get it over with, the sooner we get to hop back on the court.”

Despite the closure of the Fitness Zone for a second time, Caswell was able to find another way of continuing his workouts from home.

“Fortunately for me, I have a best friend who happens to have a very well-equipped home gym,” he said. “I also managed to be able to play in a max volley beach league this summer but other than that, it’s really hard to stay in ‘volleyball’ shape; if you will.”

Ian Campbell, athletics communication and events coordinator spoke on what he’s seen from athletes before the closures; as students were coming to the gym to continue working at their game.

“Until the recent drawback to phase two, the gymnasium was open a little bit for students to come in throughout the day and do some activities throughout social distancing,” said Campbell. “I saw some of our basketball players, volleyball players and coaches come in through that period.”

Although some players took advantage of the open gymnasium, Campbell explained it was tough for some athletes to adjust.

“It’s challenging for the athletes to maintain their conditioning,” explained Campbell. “You can go in the gym and have one coach come to one hoop and talk to the basketball players, and go to another hoop and talk to another basketball player, but that will never replace you being able to actually play.”

While this season remains uncertain, Algonquin College athletes have continued to find other ways to work around the circumstances.

Though the situation of sports at Algonquin College has no answers just yet, the OCAA’s season remains to be a bleak one.

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