An inconvenient loss

Due to the cost of major renovations, Memorial Arena will close its doors for good as of April 2012. This is bad news for King’s intramural hockey.

Due to the cost of major renovations, Memorial Arena will close its doors for good as of April 2012. This is bad news for King’s intramural hockey, according to third-year student Christian Pollard.
“When I came in first year there was a team already set up, and I played on it and thought it was the most amazing thing,” Pollard said. Pollard said the proximity and convenience of Memorial Arena helps motivate hockey players at King’s to join intramural teams instead of abandoning their passion. Next year, that convenience will be compromised.
Shawn Fraser, Senior Manager of Programs at Dal Athletics, said that this year won’t mark the end of Dalhousie’s intramural hockey program. Fraser explains that nothing is completely set in stone, but intramural hockey will most likely be moved to the Halifax Forum, about three and a half kilometres from Memorial Arena. Fraser said that, but for “minor adjustments to time and availability,” the program will be running the same way.
Pollard, 20, is the driving force behind two King’s hockey teams playing in the intramural league. After nobody came forward to organize teams for King’s during his second year, he was eager to get King’s players back on the ice the following September.
“Nobody went out of their way and made it happen. So, I found out what it took, but just a week or two too late,” recalls Pollard. “Coming back to third year I was I was super determined to just make it happen. So the second I landed, I got all the forms, and put out all the ads, and got all the people, and put down the money and … it happened.”
Both of the King’s teams are co-ed, and play a game every week – not an enormous time commitment, according to Pollard. He said that’s part of what makes intramural hockey doable for university students.
“All you do is leave 20 minutes before the game starts, get there, get your gear on, hop on the ice and have a game, walk back, hop in the shower, and ten minutes after you hop off the ice you’re in bed. And that’s perfect.”
Moving games to a new location could be inconvenient for students, and Pollard can only hope that organizing transportation won’t have too much of a negative impact on next year’s turnout.
“One of the reasons it’s so awesome to be in first year playing on an intramural team is that they live there and their gear’s in the basement … So, that will be seriously compromised if it’s moved way farther away, especially if you’re in first year … Who has a car in first year?”
Pollard goes on to explain that the extra travel time will extend the commitment that intramural hockey requires from students on a fairly significant level.
“Your commitment’s an hour and a half, an hour and 45 minutes max. If you add 25 minutes of travel time to that, it becomes like a two or three hour commitment, and you have to do some planning. Like, I know it’s ridiculous to complain about, but for me the beauty of it is that it’s right there – for King’s anyway.”
Pollard said he loves playing with other King’s students, and will be sure to get involved again next year if teams manage to pull themselves together.
“If there’s some way – if it’s still happening, I would absolutely love to (continue playing). I think playing hockey is awesome; I think it’s great to play hockey with King’s people. So, if it’s happening, I’ll do my best.”

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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