Strike sends sports groups scrambling

Residents left holding their garbage bags aren’t the only ones suffering from a city labour disruption, now well into week four.

The strike is also hitting sports teams who are forced to either cancel their scheduled games, or relocate them to less than desirable venues.

On day one of the disruption the Toronto Sport and Social Club’s director posted a message on its website saying many of its games would be impacted due to the strike, shifting locations and times.

“Due to the valiant efforts of our full-time staff, we are lucky in that we have only had to postpone a handful of games so far,” said Rob Davies, the club’s director of operations. “But we have really had to scramble to pull this off. The longer the strike goes, the more it becomes likely that other games will have to be postponed or cancelled.”

Davies says that a large percentage of the league games have been affected by the strike, and the club has spent countless hours trying to adapt its schedules by re-locating teams away from venues near mini-dumps. During the strike, there is no staff to cut the grass or turn on lights at city-operated venues, so the club is avoiding those too.

“The main cost to our organization has been the hundreds of lost working hours as we have had to re-direct our energy and efforts into dealing with the problems presented by the strike,” Davies said. 

The Toronto Ultimate Club, which runs ultimate Frisbee leagues, has so far managed to avoid cancelling any games, but has had to relocate them to other venues, some of them less than ideal.

“On any given night we can have around 500 members having to relocate fields because of the strike,” said Ian Brooks, the club’s member services coordinator. “The big concern here is that most of these alternate fields are either in extremely bad shape or in unfavourable locations across the city.”

What’s more, Toronto Ultimate has already paid for the space that it is now unavailable for use.

“It can be difficult to communicate on a daily basis to everyone … field location changes for the next day.”