It has been a whirlwind of headlines with COVID-19 and its effect on sport in the province. Many university programs in Vancouver were forced to shut down for the year while others were allowed to continue.
Luckily, the Wolfpack fell under the latter and was able to resume training throughout the fall, even getting to play a few exhibition games under cohort rules. However, with the recent spike of COVID-19 cases, exhibition games have been suspended for the time being.
Wolfpack teams have been allowed to train but must follow strict socially distanced protocols that decrease the chance of infection. Each Wolfpack sport must tailor to their unique situation in an attempt to stop any possible spread of the virus.
“I am fortunate that as an athlete I am still able to safely train and improve this season,” Jordon Haggerty, women’s basketball point guard expressed. “Currently we are following the return to sport phase 2 guidelines set by the provincial government. We currently do non-contact drills to maintain the 3 meters of physical distance.”
Teams must complete a screening questionnaire before all training and wear a mask when travelling to and from the session. They must also sanitize their hands and all equipment beforehand.
The training is different than usual as no contact drills are allowed – meaning players and coaches must find different ways to compete and keep morale high. Although the safety precautions are vital, some athletes are struggling to stay motivated due to the restrictions on training.
“I definitely miss being able to put in a tackle and battle for the ball,” Jan Pirretas, captain of the men’s soccer team expressed. “I totally understand that this is important to do, but it does seem to weigh on some of the guys. A lot of us miss the action of the game. Skills training can only fulfill us so much.”
The Wolfpack will continue to follow provincial guidelines related to sport and hope that soon COVID-19 cases will subside and competition will commence.