Schools to be­come tem­po­rary ho­tels

Sum­mer Games ac­co­mo­da­tions en­ter fi­nal stages of prepa­ra­tion

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

With 1,350 ath­letes and coaches just about ready to de­scend on the towns of Har­bour Grace and Car­bon­ear mext week for the 2012 New­found­land and Labrador Sum­mer Games, you’d think Genevieve Babb would ap­pear to be wor­ried.

But, the head of the Games com­mit­tee in charge of the lo­gis­tics of ath­lete ac­com­mo­da­tions, Babb did not ap­pear to be daunted by the task when she spoke with The Com­pass last week in the gym­na­sium at St. Fran­cis.

“We are in fi­nal prepa­ra­tions now,” she said.

Babb and the peo­ple she has on the com­mit­tee are in the process of fill­ing the class­rooms of St. Fran­cis school in Har­bour Grace and Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate with ath­letes.

The fe­male ath­letes will be housed at St. Fran­cis, while the male con­tin­gent will be bed down at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate.

“We will be run­ning both schools as if they were a ho­tel,” said Babb of the check-in process.

Teams for events in the first three days are expected to start ar­riv­ing in Har­bour Grace around noon time Satur­day, Aug. 18, when they will be pro­ceed­ing to Har­bour Grace Pri­mary to checkin. The pri­mary school next to St. Fran­cis will take the form of com­mand cen­tral over the course of the week.

Af­ter the check-in process, the fe­male ath­letes will make the short stroll across the park­ing lot, while their male coun­ter­parts will head to Car­bon­ear.

“We’ll have quite a house full of peo­ple,” said Babb.

Each player is re­quired to have 39 square feet of per­sonal space to call home for a cou­ple of days, as per pro­vin­cial reg­u­la­tion.

Due to ath­letes be­ing in the schools, Babb said the class­rooms where play­ers will be stay­ing needed to be retro­fit­ted with car­bon monox­ide and smoke de­tec­tors.

“The fire chiefs from both towns will be do­ing in­spec­tions of the schools,” she said.

Meal­time

When it comes time for the ath­letes to eat, Babb said it would be done in stages.

“For break­fast, ath­letes will eat in three dif­fer­ent stages,” she said. “It will be the same in the evening.”

For lunch, Sub­way is pro­vid­ing sand­wiches for ev­ery par­tic­i­pant to be served at the var­i­ous venues. Chal­lenges Aside from retrofitting each class­room to en­sure the ath­lete’s safety while they are sleep­ing, one of the ma­jor chal­lenges the com­mit­tee has been fac­ing is en­sur­ing round the clock chap­er­ones for the ath­letes.

She said some 140 vol­un­teers would be re­quired to help with those roles.

“We see our role as try­ing to help fa­cil­i­tate a smooth run­ning of the Games,” she said. “Keep­ing in mind these teams will be trav­el­ling, train­ing, stay­ing up late, they’ll be up out of their beds, sleep­ing on floors and lin­ing up for show­ers.”

Show­ers could pose a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem for or­ga­niz­ers.

Babb fig­ures ath­letes will need to stag­ger their shower times in or­der to max­i­mize the amount of hot wa­ter avail­able to them.

“We have asked ath­letes who are play­ing sports in venues where there are show­ers to use those show­ers be­fore re­turn­ing to the schools for the evening,” she said.

Babb praised the schools and the Eastern School Dis­trict for help­ing make the tran­si­tion be­tween class­room to res­i­dence run smoothly.

“They were so great at mak­ing sure the schools were pre­pared, so we could go in and start our work,” she said.

To help the group get ready to wel­come the ath­letes, Babb said they stud­ied plans from the Grand Falls-Wind­sor win­ter games in 2010.

Also, with the ad­vent of the cell phone, as well as re­cent trends like Face­book and Twit­ter, or­ga­niz­ers are weary of how ath­letes take ad­van­tage of this tech­nol­ogy.

“We’ve had to take a se­ri­ous look at that with le­gal­i­ties and pic­ture

We see our role as try­ing to help fa­cil­i­tate a smooth run­ning of the Games.

— Genevieve Babb

tak­ing,” said Babb. “Ath­letes have signed off on their re­spon­si­bil­ity for their con­duct and be­hav­iour, in­clud­ing pic­ture tak­ing and where they post them for these Games.”

When the Games start, Babb said there are sure to be is­sues that come up that were over­looked.

“I’ll be happy at the end if the Games have been suc­cess­ful,” she said. nmercer@cb­n­com

pass.ca

Photo by Bill Bow­man/the Com­pass

An­drew Roul makes his tid­dly, play­ing for the Lonely Tree Tribe in a match against the Val­ley Pikes dur­ing the World Cup of Tid­dly played on the lower soft­ball pitch at the Car­bon­ear Re­cre­ation Com­plex, Sun­day. Aug. 5

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