Go from spectator to participant
By Katherine Wooler - February 21, 2011
C A N A D A G A M E S
The Canada Games are in full swing this week in Halifax. With such an exciting variety of athletics going on all around the city, students may be inspired to try a new sport themselves. Read on to discover which Canada Games sports can be found at Dalhousie, as well as a few interesting links between Dal and the 2011 Games.
The Dalhousie Badminton Club meets in the Dalplex fieldhouse three nights per week during the school year, as well as two nights per week throughout the summer. The club plays mostly doubles due to the number of courts available and encompasses a wide range of skill levels. Steve Foster, the organizer of the club for the past ten years, encourages new players to drop by and try playing against other beginners. The club usually has a membership of around 25 players and is open to Dal students and Dalplex members. While the club does not hold its own competitive tournaments, members often participate in the annual Dalplex Intramural badminton event or Nova Scotia Badminton Association events.
There is also intramural badminton organized by the Dalhousie Campus Recreation Office. These mini-league intramurals only run for 4-6 weeks and welcome all levels of ability. As with all intramurals, Dal students, faculty, staff employees, and Dalplex members may participate. The badminton mini-league is held in January and involves a round robin style tournament. The intramurals staff is composed entirely of Dal students, including kinesiology major Myles Dalton who will be representing Nova Scotia in badminton at the Canada Games, beginning competition on February 21.
The Dalhousie Curling Club meets once a week at the Halifax Curling Club, from late October through to mid-April. Dal students, faculty, and staff members are all welcome to join. The club is purely recreational and focuses on developing teamwork skills and forming friendships. The club’s faculty adviser, Karen Smith, says that curling is an excellent way to enhance and improve “eye-hand coordination, cardio-vascular health, and patience.”
The Dalhousie Figure Skating Club is organized by Janessa Keans and usually meets four mornings and one afternoon per week at the Memorial Arena. Members have the opportunity to be tested and compete in local and national competitions due to the club’s registration with the Canadian Figure Skating Association.
Hockey is a huge part of Dal athletics, with both men’s and women’s hockey teams that compete regionally and nationally against other universities. The men’s team, captained by Ryan Jenner, made the playoffs for the first time in seven years before losing to St. FX in their quarter-final series. Coach Pete Belliveau is proud of the players’ abilities to keep good academic standings, while also finding time to give back to the community. The men’s team teaches skating three times a week to adults and youth of the HRM throughout the school year.
The woman’s hockey team is coached by Lesley Jordan and captained by Laura Shearer. The team's next home game, and the last game of the regular season, is Sunday, February 27 at 2 p.m. against St. FX.
Hockey is also offered as an intramural league with four different competition levels at Dalhousie, running throughout the entire school year. While registration for all intramurals is done as a team, there are sport reps and assigned team captains who will recruit individuals. According to the athletics department, hockey intramurals are yet another great way to “de-stress and escape the pressures” of university.
Paul Duchesne, Hamza Ayaz, and Rebecca Hsu organize the Dalhousie Judo Club, offering an environment in which all ages can develop their skills, whether they are at a beginner or an advanced level. Members may participate in competitions and training camps, as well as social activities such as attending martial arts events. The club is currently preparing to host members of Judo Nova Scotia at the Dalhousie Spring Judo Tournament on March 5.
Senior black belts James Warren and Kendall Shields coach the meets, which are held in the Dalplex fieldhouse three evenings per week. Mr. Duchesne explains that the sport focuses on “respect for your opponent” and using “only as much force as is needed." More information can be found on the club’s website.
The Dalhousie Squash Club has three league nights and one city league night every week. The squash club participates in the Garrison-Black Knight city league, the Squash Canada University Nationals, and a variety of local tournaments. The club also hosts the largest squash tournament in the province, the Dalhousie Invitational tournament, at Dalplex. This tournament has run for 32 years and involves 100 participants in more than 200 matches.
Members of the club include former Canada Games athletes from multiple provincial teams, while club president David Westwood is sport leader at this year’s Canada Games squash competitions. Those interested in squash can visit both the club’s website and its Facebook page.
The Dalhousie Table Tennis Club is entering its fourth year of operation and is open to anyone with access to the Dalplex. Players of all skill levels are welcome to come out and practice three times per week. The club competes in tournaments such as the Atlantic Canada Ping Pong Tournament, and hosts the Dalhousie Table Tennis Club Open Invitational. The Nova Scotia Table Tennis Association held a Junior/ Senior Marathon tournament at the Dalplex on January 15, during which umpires and umpire assistants were trained for the current Canada Games. The club would like to both host and attend future training sessions with other Nova Scotian table tennis clubs.
Club president Alex MacDonald says that, while table tennis is still gaining recognition and popularity in Canada, it requires “copious amount[s] of training and dedication” and is “one of the most popular sports in the world next to soccer”. Dal Table Tennis club member Kirsten McCaffery is currently competing in the Canada Games. More on the table tennis club can be found on its website and Facebook group.
More information on all of the above clubs, intramurals, and teams, as well as all other athletic activities and facilities at Dalhousie, can be found on the Athletics & Recreation website.