Dome Digest - July 2020
A month ago we thought that the return to action would be slow and gradual. Then without much warning, AHS changed Stage 2 to start on June 12th and include team sport. Every athlete in the province breathed a sigh of relief underneath their personal protective devices.
It's still not quite business as usual. Every sport/athlete still needs to be actively monitoring the health situation and taking it day by day, but a few restrictive layers were peeled back.
We've been doing our best to adjust with the flow of the Provincial Guidelines and started bringing our programs back to fit with the current safety situation, and in doing so, have been happy to see many of you back on the court.
In this issue of the Dome Digest, we cover the future of our facilities, changes to our relaunch, program details, and more.
Bursting the Bubble
We've done a lot of soul searching over the last few months, and it is with a heavy heart that we've decided to let go of the Original Volleydome location. The Dome has been an institution in Calgary for over 25 years, where it became a second home to many, near and dear to all of our hearts. Please believe us when we say the decision to end the facility's run has not been made lightly. Many factors, and many hours of deliberation went into this decision.
Pressure and poor communication from the City nearly saw the 24th Ave location close to being deflated about a year ago, the pandemic has only served to multiply these frustrations. On top of that, the heating and plumbing need repairs, there have been issues with flooding with all the recent rain, and the dome structure itself is nearing its expiry date.
Ideally we would have liked to bring down the bubble and put up something bigger and better for the next 20 years. The biggest problem remains, however, that even if we do make all the necessary fixes, there's still a high probability that the City sends us packing within a year or three anyhow. So despite its sentimental value, it has become clear to us that we need to bid adieu to our beloved bubble.
As of now, our expected closing date will be August 31st, but it's possible it could come sooner. The beach courts will remain open for bookings and programs until the Dome's final hours, but the revolving doors have been closed permanently. Any indoor programming will be conducted through the GYM for the time being, and we'll be looking at future development opportunities as they arise.
To commemorate the end of an era, we will be organizing a Bubble Popping Ceremony, date TBD. This will be a BBQ style event to remember the good times we've had and the good times to come at the Volleydome facilities. Keep an eye out for more information.
Anyone that would like to volunteer to help with demolition over the next couple months, please contact Don, Milou, or so that we can organize people in a safe and physically distant manner.
Like we mentioned in our last issue, we wish we could let everyone back in all at once, but we also want to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff. Thanks to AHS's decision that team sport could be added to Stage 2, we've been able to open our doors and bump up our own reopening schedule, with slight changes from when we left off.
As per our bubble news above, The GYM location (293057 James Jones Way), is now our exclusive location for indoor programs and bookings, and the beach at the Dome location (2825 24th ave NW) is open for the summer as well. Thanks to the allowance of 50 person cohorts in team sport, here's what programs will be back in action in July:
Canuck return to play - existing rosters
Jr. Canuck return to play - existing rosters
Summer Camps - REGISTRATION
Modified Adult Leagues (teams of max 8) - email@example.com
Private Bookings (volleyball + basketball) - firstname.lastname@example.org
ActiVR private bookings - email@example.com
Restorative yoga (limited to 7) - REGISTRATION
Bumpin' Beach - groups starting in July
Elite Beach programs - by invitation
Youth Ladder League play - Available to all athletes in beach programming
Private beach bookings - firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoga for Parents
For the safety of everyone using our GYM facilities, we've had to limit building access to only program or booking participants. This has unfortunately meant that those of you with kids in our programs have been asked to remain outside the building to keep interior traffic at a minimum. Rather than having to hang out in the parking lot, or explore the CrossIron Mills area, starting Tuesday July 7th, we will be providing Yoga classes for parents (beginners welcome) with our in house Yoga teacher, Emily Raymond-Saxton.
To start with, these classes will run alongside our most popular regular team training dates, and if there is enough demand for other dates and times, those can be added in the future as well.
Yoga classes will be $15 for each hour long session, and class size will be limited to a maximum 7 participants per session, so be sure to sign up before they fill up using this registration link:
Yoga with Emily - Registration
Tuesdays: 4:15PM, 5:45PM
Thursdays: 3:45PM, 5:15PM
Last month we tried our hand at a pandemic friendly beach training regimen for kids, headed by Camille Saxton, Ben Saxton and Randy Popplestone.
Here's a little review of how things went from coach extraordinaire, Camille Saxton:
A month ago, at the beginning of June we were still under the impression that we wouldn’t be able to open in any capacity until the beginning of July. We decided that we missed the kids and wanted to offer them an online volleyball program to help them with their basic beach skills and fitness. We figured that some of them may need to get back in shape after being at home for months with little exercise. We called this program “Zoomin’ Beach”.
We prepared for a full month (8 sessions) of online coaching through the Zoom app. Fortunately, we were to be able to bring the kids to the beach courts in person halfway through. 4 sessions were exclusively from home, while the other 4 were a combo of having some kids at home on their devices and some kids at the beach with us based on their personal preference. All of the drills (whether online or in person) were done as individuals - each kid with their own ball throughout the course of the practice.
As coaches and as players it took a lot of creativity and thinking outside the box. Different kids had different things to work with. For example, some had a net set up in their backyard, while others were hitting the ball against their walls and roofs inside their homes. Thank you parents for allowing some noise and stray balls in your homes and backyards for the sake of our program. Thank you also to the kids for keeping safe when you were sprinting, singing and doing all kinds of skills in the middle of your driveway, and to some nice neighbors who returned balls that inevitably flew over their fences.
It was awesome to have the interest we did, and these kids will hopefully be part of a very small exclusive group “the only ever Zoomin’ Beach program athletes”. I personally enjoyed the experience, but am also really looking forward to getting back to regular volleyball practices again!
Hey Everyone, Dustin from ACTIVR here.
ACTIVR quietly reopened on the 20th at the Volleydome GYM, but we’re trying to keep things to a minimum for the time being. My wife Nadyne, whom some of you might know as 'the lady who answers your Volleydome emails and phone calls' is currently 37 weeks pregnant! We're very excited, but also very prepared to be very unprepared for the coming weeks. With that in mind, our availability is going to be very limited in July, but we will gladly accept bookings any date following August 14th.
More big news, I'm really excited to announce that we will be reopening with not 1, but 3 new Virtual Reality Escape Rooms:
Escape the Lost Pyramid - an Egyptian Pyramid adventure - Escape Room by Ubisoft
Beyond Medusa’s Gate - an Ancient Greek tomb adventure - Escape Room by Ubisoft
Huxley - Save the Future - the first in an episodic series of sci-fi Escape Room experiences by Exit Games
To sum up this issue, we're so happy to be back, even in a limited capacity. There are sure to be other changes, and possibly backtracks, in the coming weeks and months, but we'll do our best to continue adapting our response. For the past 25+ years, we've striven to build a strong community for volleyball players and to keep our facilities at the highest standard of play for our patrons. We look forward to continuing to do so even though we'll be saying goodbye to an old friend (the original Dome).
If everyone continues to do their part in keeping Covid-19 at bay, then this summer will be the start of a new chapter in the Volleydome's history. Though the Volleydome location where it all began will be no more, our legacy will live on through our programs, the Volleydome GYM facility and most importantly, through you, our patrons.
Until next time.
The Volleydome Fam