Left side Jaxson Thys says the members of the SAIT Trojan men’s volleyball team are closer than ever as they adjust to the loss of their home base in the wake of pre-demolition construction occurring in the Campus Centre.
“It’s redefined ‘team’ as more of a brotherhood rather than just 12 guys that play on the same team with the same jerseys,” said Thys.
The relocation has encouraged the team to communicate and get to know each other on personal levels, which wasn’t inherently necessary in the past. Teammates have noticed more profound friendships being formed. Additionally, a team environment that exceeds typical standards due to the increase in time spent together off the courts has developed.
“We have a very heavy group chat that we use to make sure that guys have rides, that guys are going to make it to practice, and it’s not just a team when we’re on the court, we’re a team at all times making sure that people are getting their studies done and making sure that they can make it to the practices,” said Thys.
SAIT announced earlier in the year that the Campus Centre, including the SAIT Trojan Gymnasium, would be under construction for a multi-year redevelopment project. Given the eventual closure of the building, the volleyball teams have been relocated to their new home base at Rally Pointe.
Rally Pointe is located in the southeast of Calgary, and is roughly 23km away from campus. Given that the team practices up to four times a week, and then have games throughout the province on weekends, the relocation brings challenges.
Nonetheless, for the players on the men’s volleyball team, this was an obstacle that was easily overcome together. Despite the newfound difficulties involving transportation, the team responded optimistically to the transition and leaned on each other for support.
“It’s been different. It’s a lot of coordinating and adjusting, but just like any other team, you’re going to go through that as well,” said Trojans Team Captain Jeff Carreos, who is a Bachelor of Business Administration student.
One of the only worries team members face is an empty gymnasium when they compete. Considering the issue of transportation, not having the support of their SAIT community is a concern. It may be a challenge for supporters to find their own ways to Rally Pointe to support our athletic teams.
“Having the fans in the stands at the game is just a whole different atmosphere. You just feel the energy that comes with it. If you get a full house, it’s just a whole new game to us,” said Spencer Loucks, a middle blocker and assistant captain.
It’s redefined ‘team’ as more of a brotherhood rather than just 12 guys that play on the same team with the same jerseys. – Jaxson Thys
The team hopes that more people from SAIT learn about their relocation early enough to attend games whenever possible.
“I think it’d be really good to have more fans out there just because it’s technically not ‘home,’” said Carreos. “It’ll be nice to have some familiar faces in the crowd for sure.”
The team’s first home game at Rally Pointe is on Oct. 15 against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks. The team encourages and asks for support from family, friends, and the valued SAIT community.