Gym space in demand at TRU

Adam Williams, Sports Editor  Ω

For an institution its size, it could be argued that TRU lacks gym space. The Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) and the Old Gym are both constantly in use and while they do an amicable job of housing the sports they do, there’s not exactly extra space for individuals or groups hoping to put on a sporting event. Which is exactly the problem that Garrett Horvath ran in to a few weeks ago.

Horvath is a second-year law student and the organizer of the TRU Dodgeball Club. With more than 140 players registered in the league, the Dodgeball Club is the largest on TRU’s campus and they nearly had to close the doors on their season before it even began. The reason? They couldn’t find anyone who was willing or able to rent them gym space for their weekly games.

“It’s an uphill battle just trying to get anything done in this town that requires a gym, unfortunately,” Horvath said. “Like I said in my email [to the Omega], my high school has more gyms than this university.”

He attempted to reach out to resources on TRU campus. Jon Shephard, the athletics and recreation assistant facilities coordinator, said WolfPack sports and special events use up the bulk of available space, according to Horvath. Similarly, Horvath claims that Pina Russo, the campus recreation coordinator, said no weekly “open gym” space was available when he approached her for help.

“I’m doing everything I can to get it running,” Horvath said. “So hopefully it will work out.”

With the help of TRUSU and the Kamloops Sports Council (a local sports advocacy group) Horvath managed to secure a booking for a local elementary school gym and the league was able to continue, having only missed one week of scheduled games. Horvath’s situation highlights what might be a larger issue on campus. Does TRU need more gym space? After all, the Dodgeball Club is a part of the students union and is made up of students and alumni. It seems a little hard to believe they have to leave campus and rent an elementary school gym to be able to play their games. If it’s not an issue of gym space, with demand like Horvath is outlining, is it time for Campus Recreation to take over the league?

“That’s ideal, because then I wouldn’t have to (run the league). The only reason I started this league up is because I wanted to play dodgeball,” Horvath said. “That would be so awesome because it would reduce the cost on everyone and make it just a regular part of the campus. Look at University of Alberta, they had the largest dodgeball game in the world. Other universities see the value in the sport because you get people out doing exercise, it takes very little athleticism.”

The Omega attempted to contact Shephard and Russo via phone. Neither responded by print deadline. Whether the issue is gym space or the priority sports are given within Campus Recreation, one has to beg the question, why is dodgeball still a peripheral sport at this university?

As it stands, the Dodgeball Club is in operation for another year and in an email to The Omega the first week of games “went really well,” according to Horvath.

Let’s just hope that the TRU Dodgeball Club always has an organizer who is this committed, because without the support of the university or Campus Recreation, the club itself could be short-lived.