News Gazette staff
Members of the Victoria Grizzlies are already pretty well-schooled in the art of teamwork.
The players experienced a different kind of teamwork on Tuesday during what has become the junior hockey club’s annual trip to the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit in Colwood.
After watching a video and taking part in a short question and answer session, the players geared up in their wetsuits and joined navy clearance diver trainees and instructors for some training.
Then it was time to get in the water. After a surface swim from the jetty to a designated spot in the frigid Esquimalt Harbour and back again – the wake from two Zodiac boats carrying team reps and photographers sending the swimmers bobbing up and down – the group had a bit of fun.
Split into two groups, they were shown how to slide their way along a rope strung between two large pilings, and encouraged to force their opponents into the water below.
“It was awesome,” Grizzlies captain P.J. Conlon said of the drills. “The water was a little chilly, but we all survived and made it through. It’s pretty impressive what the guys are doing down here on a daily basis.”
Teammate Brayden Gelsinger enjoyed the rope exercise best and agreed the water was pretty cold.
“But it was pretty fun swimming out there and getting to do that with the guys and seeing what they do over here.”
After the players were given a tour of the facilities, the whole group wound up the day with a shinny game between the Grizzlies and diving unit members back at The Q Centre.