By Melodie Lariviere
The new and improved rec centre is up and running, and so is the college’s extramural basketball team. The team will officially be part of the Ontario College Athlete Association (OCAA) next year, after a 25-year absence.
“We’re trying to grow the team to a place where we’re competitive in the OCAA. This is our first year operating as an exhibition team because the team hasn’t existed for 25 year so the first year back we have to operate as an exhibition year. So next year we’ll operate under the OCAA,” said Andrew Bates, assistant manager for athletics and recreation, and co-ordinator of the basketball teams.
Marlene Ford, the college’s varsity co-ordinator, said, “I was an athlete myself 25 years ago playing volleyball. There was a need to make some cuts and they did surveys looking at the number of athletes per team, how many people in attendance for home games, how much gym time per week, etc. It was decided to cut both basketball and volleyball.”
Today, students are excited about the new teams, with 45 men and 15 women attending tryouts. As well, students are enjoying playing pick-up basketball during open gym times. It’s the rec centre’s most active drop-in sport.
The teams have been participating in a lot of exhibition games. The men played the University of Waterloo a few weeks ago and have been playing very competitive prep schools. The women have played some exhibition games in addition to the scheduled ones against other college teams. Both teams are also in leagues. The men play in Hamilton on Tuesdays and the women in Kitchener-Waterloo on Thursdays.
The renovations at the rec centre included three shiny new courts.
“Since this new gym has been built it’s just drawn attention to the fact there’s basketball available, varsity or rec. I think with basketball being such a mainstream sport this gym has helped that interest just grow,” said Bates.
The Condors next home game is a double-header on Jan. 6 with both the women’s and men’s teams taking on Sheridan. The first game gets underway at 6 p.m., with the second game following at 8 p.m.