Langara athletes to lose training facilities when YMCA closes

Sports teams rely on community centre gym

YMCA's south Vancouver location on 49th Ave is set to close for renovations from 2021 to 2023. Photo: Kim Lau
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Reported by Kim Lau

As of 2021, Langara athletes will need to find an alternative training facility that is accessible and convenient.

The South Vancouver YMCA is set to close from 2021-2023 for renovations and Langara officials have said there are no immediate plans to build a facility on campus.

With no training facilities on campus except for a gymnasium in Building G, the athletes have long used the facility at the YMCA next door for training.

“It will make it much more difficult for some of them to get a consistent place to work out,” said Paul Eberhardt, head coach of the men’s basketball team. “I would say about half of them regularly use the YMCA pass.”

According to Wendy Lannard, Langara facilities director, the 25-year Master Plan is a road map for the future of the campus growth over the next 25-plus years. She said a new gym will not be addressed in the first phase of the new Master Plan.

“Langara will have a new 25-year Master Plan by late 2019/2020. There are no timelines for any buildings nor a new gym,” Lannard said.

Two-year window to find new training space

Simran Basra, the Falcons’ women’s soccer goalkeeper, said athletes have been asking about an on-campus athletics facility for ages.

“We are always asking what’s happening about the new gym,” she said.

The YMCA’s closure means that the athletes will not have easy access to a convenient location for regular workouts.

“The Y has always been there,” Basra said. “It is so close and so convenient. We used to go in-between classes and then come back for more classes.”

The YMCA is scheduled to close in 2021, which gives the college a two-year window to look for new training venues for its athletes.

“It’s something we definitely have to figure out. I mean that I don’t think the institution would react by building a new facility because the YMCA is going to be not there. So, that is something I have to sort out where that will be this summer,” said Jake McCallum, athletics director at Langara.

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