How are the Royals dealing with the pandemic?
By Craig Allan, Business Manager
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has halted that progression, but Hanchard (with another year of non-eligibility as her injury squad year last year didn’t count towards her eligibility) is looking forward to facing actual competition.
With so many personalities on the team, there were some stories that just couldn’t fit in a full article, so here is the second part of my interviews with the Douglas College Royals Women’s Basketball Team.
Jessica Marie Castillo, a fourth–year student in Business Management, is enjoying all the extra practice the team is doing because it is giving the team a better chance to connect and improve so they will be at the top of their game next year. In an interview with the Other Press, she mentions that she feels that all the extra time practicing builds trust in the team: “It’s all about trust, trusting your teammates.” Castillo is enjoying online learning and not commuting to the school everyday. It also allows her to better plan her time. She is excited to fulfill her five years of collegiate sports at Douglas.
The transition from high school to college can be difficult, but for Jennifer Nyce—a first year Business Administration student—there are added challenges. She was raised in the Haisla First Nations community near Kitimat and frequently played against limited competition. “We pretty much only have one tournament a year, so we are used to practicing six months.” She likes being able to play basketball, as it is something she and her teammates can do during the pandemic to help them take their minds off of the current situation. It is difficult to form bonds with new people with Nyce coming from so far away, but the current practice structure is giving her more of an ability to bond with the other women on the team. She hopes to continue to bond and grow with the team as she progresses through her studies.
Alexa Kinnaird, a first-year Biology student, likes having a year of development to better her skills in preparation for future competitions. Being a first-year student, she has no idea what going from in-person classes to practice will be like since she has only experienced the online version. Kinnaird mentioned how back in December there was a period where the team’s progress was arrested. “We weren’t able to practice due to the public health order.” This left the team waiting until January to get back to their practice routine. Kinnaird wants to finish her five years at Douglas and then maybe play in a street league after college.
After being on the injury squad last year due to a torn ACL, second year Associative Science student Haley Hanchard was looking forward to getting to play. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has halted that progression, but Hanchard (with another year of non-eligibility as her injury squad year last year didn’t count towards her eligibility) is looking forward to facing actual competition. As for her future in basketball, she is taking a wait-and-see approach. “I want to see wherever this leads me.”
During this pandemic it can be tough to stay positive, but that is not an issue for first year Sports Science student Christine Joy “CJ” Dacanay. She is taking any kind of adversity in stride: “Whatever I can get at the moment, I’m blessed about it.” She said she had trouble adapting to online classes because she is an outgoing person and enjoys the camaraderie with other students, but she has found a rhythm with online schooling and enjoys that she can still have that bonding experience with the women on the basketball team. A dream of hers is to continue to play basketball after college life to some capacity.
The pandemic has been tough for the women’s basketball team. Coming off a bronze medal finish in the Provincial Championships last year, the team was really looking forward to showing off how they have improved, but the pandemic has alternatively given them the opportunity to form closer bonds and synchronize. Practice makes perfect is an overused saying in the English lexicon, but for the DC women’s basketball team, they are perfecting themselves for when it comes time to face real competition again.