By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
Team Manitoba’s Canoe Kayak Head Coach Jerome Seremak said he’ll have to start from scratch to recreate the drive and momentum that comes along with an upcoming Games.
Earlier this year, it was announced that next year’s Canada Summer Games will be postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and will now take place on Saturday, August 6 – Sunday, August 21, 2022.
But the task to motivate the team certainly doesn’t worry Jerome – instead, he is moving forward with a fresh perspective and looking at what can be done with the current situation to develop the strongest team possible.
More Time to Train
With around 60 athletes who trained in the sport of Canoe Kayak over the summer, Jerome views the extra time as a chance for the young team to get that much sharper for competition.
“It gives us a little extra time to prepare, and that’s actually better,” he said.
And part of that extra time will be dedicated to working to keep the athletes inspired.
“The only question [now] is to motivate the people, because the Games are a great motivator for our sport and to get people into the sport,” he said.
But it’s also an opportunity to approach team development from a new angle.
“We can actually train and be creative, so I’m excited about it when we come back from this how good we are compared to everybody else.”
Adapting to Unpredictability
2020 has been a year of adapting to change. And training for the Canoe Kayak athletes, and athletes from all sports, has been no exception.
Earlier this year, 16 of Jerome’s athletes were ready with their plane tickets to head to Portugal for the spring training camp, which was quickly cancelled to keep everyone safe during the onset of the pandemic.
For next year’s training camp, Jerome has already started looking at Plan B locations in Canada just in case, so the kids could still get the training experience.
“I think we just need to focus on what can we do under the conditions,” he said. “Because things have changed.”
Words of Wisdom for Team Manitoba
Each Games involves hundreds of athletes, coaches, officials, and volunteers who train, work and prepare for years leading up to the event. With the postponement and navigating COVID-19, that team work is more important than ever.
And until 2022, Jerome believes that for the athletes, continuing to encourage them to train as best they can under the changing circumstances is the best way forward.
“If six feet of distance is what we have, well then use six feet, be creative,” he said.
For example, utilizing technology with Zoom training and paddle machines so the athletes can still do their workouts.
And while he said the sport can’t continue training this way forever, at least connecting virtually keeps the social part of it until a stronger-than-ever Team Manitoba can head to Niagara.
Learn more about the rescheduled Canada Summer Games.