Flirting with the idea of juggling academics and a job is demanding enough for most students. But mix in the schedule of being a varsity athlete, and it’s a whole different ballgame.
With games, practices, off-season training and academics, it’s often overlooked just how busy varsity athletes really are. With a lack of full athletic scholarships in Canada and little potential to go professional, finding a job to support themselves during the year is a must for many student-athletes.
Men’s soccer midfielder Chris Wellsman is one of many athletes who opted to stay close to their roots, finding work as a weight room supervisor at the ARC.
The ARC’s jobs come aplenty, though many can be pretty mundane in nature, with a repetitive workday. A regular starter on the soccer team, Wellsman said that working at the ARC goes hand-in-hand with his active lifestyle.
“I’m here so often doing my own workouts with the team and overseeing other people as the weight room supervisor … it just seemed like a natural fit.”
Being a constant part of athletics — both in the competitive and recreational realms — is common for Queen’s athletes, but the job’s appeal comes from its security and flexible hours.
“It’s only three hours per shift,” Wellsman said. “You basically get a weekly calendar view of all the hours the facility is open and you just tick off the individual hours that you’re available to work from Mondays through Sundays.”
As a weight room supervisor, workers alternate throughout their shifts from the Lifting Zone to the Main Upstairs Gym, overseeing any problems regular gym goers may experience. Equipped as a go-to guy for helping customers with issues and being informed, the job is relatively easygoing.
Wellsman, who also serves as an intern in the Strength and Conditioning field, credited the ARC for encouraging many employees to adopt an active lifestyle.
“I think, for anyone, just having a job in that environment helps you get acclimated with the whole gym culture.”
A fellow weight room supervisor, football player Stewart Anoya said he enjoys the simple responsibilities of the job. One of the key jobs they do is performing counts on a tablet of the availability and usage of the various machines on the floor every half-hour.
Gord Meacher, manager of Facilities and Operations at the ARC, mentioned that the data is a necessary part of determining which new equipment to bring to the gym and where to put it.
“Gyms always do counts,” Meacher said. “It helps us become better and with these stats we can hopefully improve every student’s workout.”
Even with a mere three hours per shift, when the school year starts picking up, at times it seems impossible to maintain a job for athletes — which is where Anoya finds the flexibility most useful.
“There are times when I know I’m not going to be there an hour before I work and I’ll post my shift up on Facebook and somebody will pick it up for me,” Anoya said, who started working at the ARC this past fall.
Though the job seems tailored towards varsity athletes, Anoya believes that anyone can fill the role.
“It’s probably the most relaxing job I’ve ever had.”
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