Stingers allowed back on campus for socially-distanced training

Concordia’s athletics center allowed to open with restrictions

Stingers athletes were undoubtedly happy to be back training with teammates. File Photo Esteban Cuevas

Last week, Concordia was finally able to reopen their athletic facilities. With the Stingers’ teams having been able to practice and work out at Concordia, student athletes were finally able to work themselves right back into game shape.

Before Quebec returned to closing gym spaces, Concordia had taken additional precautions in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19, going above and beyond what the government had enforced thus far. 

“We made some modifications to allow our student athletes to train properly and safely by moving a lot of the gym equipment into the [Concordia] dome,” said Concordia’s Director of Recreation and Athletics, D’Arcy Ryan. This move provides additional safety, as it allows for all the gym equipment to be spaced out even more than the government required two metres.

While using gym equipment on a turf field might have been a brand new experience for students, there are some advantages to it. “It’s a lot more spread out, so we have more room, which is nice,” said Olivia Hale, a defender on Concordia’s women’s hockey team. 

There are some other advantages to it, such as being able to use the interior of it for exercises which may not be possible in the small indoor gym. “It provides them with additional training capabilities. Having access to the turf field means they can mix up different types of training,” added Ryan. 

The university had not only been able to reopen their facilities thus far, but zero transmissions had been linked to the sports and recreation department, in large part due to the additional precautions that the school has put in place. “As a department, we decided that although it’s not mandatory to train with your mask, we’re enforcing training with the mask because of the rises [in case numbers] we’ve seen in Ontario with the variants and how easily transmittable COVID-19 is,” explained Ryan. 

With gyms in Montreal being forced to close this week, Concordia is not allowed to use the dome for athletic activities. “Unfortunately, we are unable to use the dome, as it is considered to be an interior space,” explained Ryan. However, students are still able to return to some activities with the warmer weather. “What we are allowed to do is continue to do our training outdoors and our coaches and student athletes are going to take advantage of this beautiful weather.” 

After having no gym access and sporting events for the entire year, the warm weather and new facilities were a welcome change for student athletes, and will hopefully set the precedent for sports to be allowed in Quebec again.