By Thomas Wildman
It took a petition with over 8,000 signatures, but finally, after nearly 19 months, fans are back in the gyms and stadiums at NAIT.
Fans have been a mainstay at NAIT for decades. The players feed off fans’ energy and enjoy seeing their family and friends come out to watch. The Alberta College Athletics Conference (ACAC) was the only league that held firm under no fans at indoor events. A petition was set up, and with the support of thousands of eager players and fans, the ACAC gave in and decided to let each institution make its own decision on spectators.
Basketball, volleyball, and hockey got a taste of fans being back for their last pre-season games. Alex Galenza, the Athletics Events & Communications Coordinator at NAIT, said this decision was made for the benefit of the players.
“The decision came down from the ACAC because restrictions have been changing all over the place, and they decided they wanted athletes to have the full college experience, so fans are now allowed back,” said Galenza.
While it’s important for players to have a true student-athlete experience, Galenza and her team are taking it easy before the start of the regular season, where they hope lots of people attend.
“We are doing an eased approach right now with the NAIT Ooks. Right now, you can come; we are not promoting games but starting with our home opener on November 12 for the arena, and then the home opener for the gym on November 19 will be open full-fledged for fans, and we will also be promoting those,” said Galenza.
Masks are mandatory while attending games, and proof of double vaccination must be shown at the door. Anyone can attend the games. It’s 5 dollars for anyone under 17, and for anyone over the age of 18, it’s 10 dollars. However, if you are a NAIT staff or student, you can attend all the games free of charge if you have your NAIT ID.