Cascadia Martial Arts students Micah and Calleigh watch taekwondo instructor Brett Fee conducts live classes online. (Submitted photo)

COVID-19: Mid-Island sports clubs find ways to keep athletes training

‘If you want something bad enough you will find a way’

Playgrounds, gyms, recreational facilities and arenas have been closed to the public to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there are plenty of sports clubs that just won’t let COVID-19 keep them from teaching or training members.

One is Cascadia Martial Arts Parksville.

Since members can’t go to the dojang (training hall) due the physical distancing protocol set by health authorities, the owners of Cascadia decided to bring the dojang to the homes of their members via livestreaming. They’re now conducting live classes online and it’s working.

Brett Fee and Dustin Fee, who are both instructors and co-owners of Cascadia, have indicated that this is a good way for their young members to continue training and follow the curriculum they’ve set up for them.

“We have multiple classes per day,” said Brett Fee. “The biggest challenge is the technology but we are moving quickly and upgrading video and sound to improve the experience.”

Menawhile, Billy Buhler, who is training to compete at world powerlifting championships in September, usually hones his lifting skills at Bodyworks Fitness in Parksville. But since it has been closed to the public, Buhler had moved his training gear at home and set up them up in his mom’s garage.

The 21-year-old, who recently won a gold medal in the junior equipped 120-kilogram weight class at the Canadian National Powerlifting Championships that earned him a spot in the Canadian team, said he has about 360 kg of weights now at home as well as his competition rack and bar. But he still needs some other equipment and it has forced him to be creative.

“I don’t have cables to do my accessory movements but I look at times like these to get better and be creative,” said Buhler. “I attached my bands to my tow hitch on my car to be able to do seated rows with the bands. You’ve just got to be innovative in a time like this.”

Buhler also pointed out that now is also a great time to dial in nutrition.

“If you can’t train as intensively, you can make your nutritional plan better to keep your muscle mass,” said Buhler. “If you want something bad enough you will find a way, no matter what the obstacle. With all the resources out there on YouTube and books, there is no excuse.”

If anyone has any questions about exercises feel free to get hold Buhler of on Instagram (Bigchunckey42).

On the tema sports front, Oceanside Youth Soccer Society has also used the internet to provide their members with a home training initiative.

With spring soccer being put on hold as recommended by Soccer Canada and BC soccer, the society is still hoping that soccer will start in May or June. If the season gets to start, the society wants players to be in shape. To keep them active, they’ve created a Train at Home Program.

The program can be accessed on the YouTube channel and it features a myriad of videos highlighting training ideas from coaches, players and family. They can be done individually or with a sibling, parent or family member.

“Getting lots of touches on the ball and staying active will keep players prepared for the start of the season and maintain or improve overall health,” the society stated in its message to its members.

To further motivate the players, the society has started a contest for those taking part in the program. It asks participants to take a short 3o to 60 seconds video of themselves training in a drill that’s provided or their own version. The first round of the contest will run from March 23 to April 18.

There’s two categories — U5-U9 and U10-U18. The prize is a $25 Soccer City Gift Certificate. The next round will start April 19. Videos will be posted on Facebook and you can submit them to the president at

The video link is

CoronavirusParksvillequalicum beach

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