Stingers athletes are continuing to face obstacles during the pandemic
Despite not playing this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Concordia Stingers athletes are still doing the best they can to stay active. At first, things weren’t that bad, as they could still gather in small groups at the gym or the Stinger Dome, while respecting health measures such as maintaining a two-metre distance between athletes.
However, since the implementation of red zone restrictions last fall, things got more complicated. Stingers coaches started to use Zoom as their main way of communicating with their teams. Workouts were still done in groups, but virtually. The best those Stingers could do was perhaps go out for a run with a teammate, while ensuring both run at an acceptable distance from each other. Stingers athletes’ backyards and neighbourhoods weren’t necessarily the perfect places to train, but it was better than nothing.
Now, with the implementation of the curfew prohibiting people to go out from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., the Stingers have to find even more creative ways to stay active. With the winter semester now underway, it also makes it harder for them to go out and get some fresh air.
Women’s rugby team Head Coach Jocelyn Barrieau said it’s often hard to work out alone, especially if you’re living under certain conditions, like in an apartment, with people above and below your training place.
“Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux builds us training programs to do from home,” Barrieau said. “So far, we’ve tried to keep it up to the beat physically and mentally. We’re trying to create online events for our team in order to do that.”
Breton-Lebreux is the Stingers’ strength and conditioning coordinator. She has a key role for some members of the Stingers team, but generally helps all Stingers teams in terms of training. Her role has probably never been as important as it is now.
Men’s basketball team player Louis-Vincent Gauvin said things will probably be harder now with the curfew. He said that even when red zone restrictions started, going out for a run wasn’t necessarily fun.
“Training from home isn’t always motivating, especially compared to [being] with your teammates,” Gauvin said. “I know Concordia lends stationary bikes, so I asked for one and now I’m doing some at home, along with my other exercises.”
Gauvin said players are still very well surrounded despite not meeting in person. He said they have access to personalized training plans, and that things not related to workouts, such as mental health support, are included and taken seriously.
On the same idea, Barrieau said that the advice she would give to student athletes, and to people in general, is to take advantage of the minutes you have between tasks to go out, or at least free your mind.
When you have the chance to get outside, even if it’s just 30 minutes between classes, do it,” Barrieau said. “Sometimes just going out for a few minutes, and getting some fresh air, doing yoga or whatever, can help. We encourage our players to send a little message text to a teammate during the day. Something positive can really make a difference in a day, especially with school.”
Graphic by Arianna Siviria