The Regina based Riders are making their presence felt in Saskatoon with their training camp heading their next month. Al Dannity looks at the big Riderville North event as Rider nation spreads across the province.
Not everybody is going to have it easy when the Saskatchewan Roughriders move their training camp to Saskatoon next month. While excited at the prospect at training in front of fans there, Corey Chamblin faces quite the logistical test. With his wife 8 and ½ months pregnant, it’s going to be a busy few weeks for the Riders head coach. “For me, my wife will be 8½ months pregnant. Other than that, it won’t be a problem,” Chamblin told the Star Phoenix.
Practice will take place at Griffiths Stadium and the team will stay at the student residences in the University of Saskatchewan right up to their pre-season game in Edmonton on June 14. Chamblin sees the temporary move away from Regina as something that can help the team prepare for the 2013 season.
“One of the first things I talked to the guys about down in Florida [during a recent camp] is being family,” he said. “This is a good opportunity, because we’re all in one place. We’ll all be staying at the same facility, using the same facility, and we’ll get a chance to bond,” said Chamblin.
“The one thing we’ll use it as is an opportunity to get ready for road games,” Chamblin said. “That’s what I’ll tell the players and that’s where our mindset is as coaches – we’re away from home, and getting ready to make every place we go our home. The quicker we adjust to here, the quicker we’ll be ready to play road games.”
The move is also vital for building the identity of the Riders. The team may play in Regina but it represents the whole province. The past off-season has seen the organisation visit several parts of Saskatchewan to help build this wider identity. The move also helps open up the eyes of the province to the 101st Grey Cup which will be played in Regina in November. A strong support inside Saskatchewan could prove a huge boost for morale and set the Riders on their way to playing for the ultimate prize at home. This camp is only part of the preparation but it could pay dividends down the stretch at the end of a long season.