The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team is camping out at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School in Courtenay on Friday night.
This is the Vikes’ third annual visit to the school, where the whole team will stay in the classrooms, cook meals in the cafeteria, work-out in the weight room and practise and play an inter-squad game on Sept. 22 – all in the name of promoting basketball in the Comox Valley and doing a bit of team-building along the way.
Ross McDonald, former Vike and current Isfeld Ice basketball coach and teacher, has organized the trip the past two seasons. The Vikes’ visit offers a great opportunity for the upper Island basketball community to see some of the CIS’ best basketball players in action. The team practices (Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m.) will be open for spectators but the inter-squad game at 7 p.m. on Sept. 22 will be the showcase event, providing the students of Mark Isfeld and various other community groups the chance to witness Vikes varsity basketball in action.
“As usual, the entire Isfeld basketball community is excited about this tradition continuing,” noted Ice athletic director and hoops coach Colin Cunningham. Admission is minimum $2 at the door and all proceeds go towards the Isfeld Basketball Program.
Vikes men’s basketball head coach Craig Beaucamp looks to use the retreat weekend for players to get to know one another, as well as to promote the sport.
“We like doing something up Island,” said Beaucamp. “The Vikes are only as strong as basketball is on the Island and we want to help foster the sport. It also brings us closer together as a team. It’s important for a new team to get away as a group early in the season and to work on team cohesion.
“We always try to fit in something non-basketball and this year we’re going dragon boat racing. The team practises together for two hours a day and then go their separate ways, it’ll be good for them to work on team building.”
– Isfeld Ice basketball