Strike keeps VIU teams out of gym

NANAIMO – Vancouver Island University's sports teams will find a way to work around job action by the institution's CUPE support staff.

Vancouver Island University’s gymnasium is closed down for a couple of days, but sports seasons won’t stop and wait.

The VIU Mariners teams will find a way to work around job action by the university’s CUPE support staff.

Shane Hyde, coach of the women’s volleyball team, decided to give his team a day off today (Nov. 20), but the Mariners will be back on the court tomorrow.

“We’ve been told we’re allowed to practise outside of the facility and we can arrange practice elsewhere,” Hyde said.

The team was sure to grab all its necessary equipment from the VIU gym before the strike took effect.

VIU’s men’s basketball team has been inconvenienced a little more, as coach Matt Kuzminski doesn’t want to cancel practice.

“As it stands now we don’t have a practice today or tomorrow unless I can find a gym, which I’m trying to do…” he said. “We’ve tried a lot of different facilities. None are available. It’s really short notice.”

He said he first became aware of the likelihood of job action on Friday, but then his team took a weekend road trip to the Lower Mainland so he didn’t have the opportunity to look into finding gym time elsewhere. He’ll try to get his guys together for workouts, at least.

“It many not be as basketball-specific as we would like, but we’ll get together with the team and still do stuff to keep our conditioning,” said Kuzminski. “It’ll be, in a sense, a nice test for us to see how we can handle a bit of adversity.”

The union’s job action was scheduled as a two-day walkout, so the VIU gym is slated to be back open Thursday (Nov. 22) when the Mariners volleyball teams host Pacific Western Athletic Association matches against the College of the Rockies.

“We’re going full speed ahead for the Thursday game,” said Hyde.

GAME ON … The VIU Mariners women’s volleyball team plays the COTR Avalanche at 6 p.m. both Thursday and Friday, with the men’s v-ball teams serving up 8 p.m. matches those nights. VIU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will be on the road Friday to play the Camosun Chargers in Victoria … Look for more on VIU volleyball and basketball in Thursday’s News Bulletin.

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