How do the Vikes prepare for the spring over the holidays?

Sports | Lifestyle

What do you do over the holidays? While most of UVic’s student population visits family and enjoys home-cooked feasts and restful nights’ sleep, most of the Vikes use the majority of the break to train and prepare for the spring season. From training camps to exhibition tournaments, Vikes players — from the pool to the court — get set for 2013.

For Ella Dalling, a fifth-year Economics student and Vikes swimmer, the break is an opportunity to get focused for the spring swimming events.

“We are trying to get in good shape for Can Wests and CIs,” Dalling says. The Canada West Championship in late January is the first big test for Vikes swimmers, followed by the CIS National Championship from Feb. 20–22.

The Vikes swimming team had two meets during the exam break to keep them sharp, then were given a week off over Christmas. Even during her break, Dalling managed to get three workouts in to maintain fitness. The Vikes then embarked to Nanaimo for a team training camp.

“Training camp gets me into gear,” Dalling says. “Training camp is an environment where we can just focus on swimming. Even though it is only a few hours away, it still takes us out of our regular setting.”

The swimming team wasn’t the only active Vikes squad this December. The men’s and women’s basketball teams were busy as well. Both squads traveled to California for a set of exhibition games against local schools.

The Vikes women’s basketball team lost a pair of games at the Biola University annual Holiday Classic in La Mirada, California. Despite the close losses, the Vikes still benefited from the tough games, as they are now gearing up for their important spring season.

Debbie Yeboah, a fifth-year Vikes basketball player and Philosophy major, says it is good practice to see some new competition outside the regular Canadian squads.

“It was nice to play against some teams we are not going to see up here, some good competition,” Yeboah says. “I wish we could’ve done a little bit better, but it was good for us.”

The Vikes basketball team typically takes a five-day trip to Calgary during the break to play some local competition. Yeboah was keen on this year’s decision to take the team south of the border.

“The past four years, we’ve taken our holiday trip to Calgary, so it was nice to get somewhere hot,” says Yeboah.

Despite a nine-day break from action each Christmas, the Vikes women’s basketball team, just like the swimming team, still keeps up the hard work.

Yeboah says, “We still get in the gym. Some people shoot, but mostly we are doing weights and running during our break. I just got right on the treadmill and tried not to lose everything I’ve worked for.”

The Vikes’ spring season is about to start, and our athletes have been training while we’ve been eating. The spring basketball season tips off on Jan. 11 as the Vikes take on Winnipeg, and the first home game is on Jan. 18 against Regina. The swimming team is preparing for the Canada West Championships on Jan. 25. Be sure to keep an eye out for all Vikes teams as they enter January, raring to go.