State of non-varsity sports

As Dalhousie University prepares to welcome students back to campus, athletics and recreational activities are expected to look more normal than during the online 2020-2021 school year.

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Second shot for seniors

U SPORTS said senior-aged student-athletes could retain their final year of eligibility due to the cancelled season at the hands of COVID-19. Many Dalhousie University Tigers athletes chose to stay in school through the 2021-2022 season to redeem it. 

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Return of the rink

Tigers athletic director Tim Maloney revealed plans for the new Dalhousie Events Centre in a statement on June 22. The Dalhousie board of governors voted in favour of the rink’s construction that day. It’s slated to be ready by fall 2023. The arena will be built on the parking lot between Wickwire Field and LeMarchant Place, where the Dalhousie Memorial Arena stood until 2012.

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2021-2022 Tigers fall preview

We last saw the Tigers in the U SPORTS final eight men’s basketball championship against the Carleton University Ravens on March 8, 2020. The resulting silver medal was the team’s highest-ever finish. The women’s volleyball Tigers were scheduled to play in the U SPORTS championship the weekend of March 13, before U SPORTS cancelled the tournament the day prior. At the time of this writing, it’s unclear whether spectators will be allowed back in most games, but here are some varsity teams’ first appearances at home in 2021-22.

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Courting the big leagues

The Maritime Women’s Basketball Association (MWBA) is set to tip off in April 2022. With national team and professional players expected to join MWBA teams, it could soon become one of Canada’s top women’s basketball leagues. The league has drawn interest from Atlantic University Sport (AUS) and Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) players too. Potentially eligible players include members of the Dalhousie University Tigers women’s basketball team.

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Game over for now

In this image: Dalhousie University's Overwatch team plays Overwatch.

In a regular year for the DeSS, the society attracts roughly 60 to 70 gamers across several games. This year, president Sahib Dhillon said, the number is closer to 25 people over four games. In-person events between local teams are highlights for DeSS players each year, the lack of which due to COVID-19 is affecting current participation.

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Playing a new game

Every year, coaches are tasked with finding ways to get the best out of their athletes. Coaching through the COVID-19 pandemic at Dalhousie University has presented several challenges to that mission. Many coaches felt coaching this year was tougher without many games being played. Some Nova Scotia universities, including Dal, began playing some exhibition games in early February 2021. But then new provincial COVID-19 restrictions, announced on Feb. 26, shut down games again.

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Building team culture

After 11 years as head coach of the women’s basketball program at Dalhousie University, Anna Stammberger will retire this spring. She will be succeeded on an interim basis by current assistant coach Anton Berry on April 1, 2021.

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Season shortfall

Hockey

In early February, Dalhousie University, the Saint Mary’s University (SMU) Huskies and the Acadia University Axemen and Axewomen organized an exhibition schedule slated to last roughly five weeks. But on Feb. 26, Nova Scotia Public Health declared a circuit-breaker to counter recent COVID-19 case spikes in the Halifax area. As part of the measures, games were cancelled for four weeks and effectively killed the schedule.

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Rock in the community

Soon after discovering a love for rock climbing on a waterfall chasing trip, Shelby Hallam began frequenting rock climbing gyms in Halifax on a near daily basis. She invested in her own climbing equipment like harnesses and took up different types of climbing like top-roping. The best part though? Joining the Halifax climbing community.

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