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Calgary

Local Gym Goes Online Amid COVID-19 Ushering In New Ways To Stay Fit At Home

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As COVID-19 regulations persist into the month of May, Canadians are being advised to remain in self-isolation and small businesses across the country are struggling to stay positive. However, local business owner Ryan Graham at Chestermere Lake CrossFit (CLC) is determined to look on the bright side. 

Chestermere Lake CrossFit opened in September 2019, just months before COVID-19 swept the business landscape across the globe. Unfortunately, as a fitness centre, Chestermere Lake CrossFit falls under the non-essential service category.

Alberta has released information for small business owners and has made a number of subsidies available to provide aid for non-essential businesses. However, Graham says if they are required to stay closed for another four to six months, it is unlikely they will be able to stay afloat, even with the government’s offer of small business loans.

CLC has been shut down since March 18th, causing all in-house events to be cancelled. In order to stay connected with their clientele, Graham and his coaching staff have been offering full online automated classes through ZOOM. “We only really have a couple [of coaches] that are leading [the classes],” says Graham, “and there have been about 25% of the members that utilize them.”

With the gym being closed down, Graham offered coaching staff first pick at taking equipment home and launched a rental program for members, as a way to keep the community physically healthy and allow clients to continue working out from home. When Chestermere Lake CrossFit is allowed to reopen, Graham says they will continue to offer online classes for a period of time for clients who might still be concerned about public spaces.

According to Graham, year-round cleanliness has always been a top priority for CLC. “[CLC] made sure all members cleaned their equipment before and after classes,” he says, “and coaches then did another cleaning at the end of each day.”

Like most businesses, Graham feels like major steps will need to be taken in order to return to business as usual. “Months and months of promotions and discount attempts [will be needed] to bring back any business and revenue that was lost in the months of closure.”

Chestermere Lake CrossFit is looking to ensure all members receive money back on their contracts for continuing to support and pay their fees during the closure. According to Graham, only a small percentage of members have decided to cancel their memberships.

CrossFit Inc. is launching a fundraiser in order to help local CrossFit gyms reopen in the future by releasing a different workout every week for a three-week period. Participants in the Support Your Local Box Fundraiser can complete the workout, and their voluntary donation can be given to a local CrossFit gym of their choice.

While CLC athletes are participating in the fundraiser, Graham says no new business plans are in the works yet, but he feels it is still too early for any major changes or decisions to be made.

For more information on Chestermere Lake Crossfit and how to support local, visit https://www.chestermerelakecrossfit.com

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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Alberta

Exercise in ‘patience’ pays off for Kadri, says winning a factor in joining Flames

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By David Alter

Nazem Kadri said the Calgary Flames expressed interest the moment he became an unrestricted free agent, but it was an “elaborate process” before he finally signed on the dotted line on Thursday.

“The patience definitely did me some good,” Kadri told reporters in a Zoom call Friday. “There were some decisions to be made.”

The Flames’ wild off-season took another dramatic turn Thursday when the team signed the coveted free agent to a seven-year, US$49-million deal.

Before the deal could be made official, Calgary sent forward Sean Monahan and a conditional 2025 first-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for future considerations in a move to create salary cap space for Kadri’s contract.

“That’s part of the reason why it’s been taking so long,” Kadri said from Paris, where he is on vacation.

The 32-year-old Kadri was one of the biggest names available in free agency after an all-star season with Colorado that ended with the Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup.

The benefits of returning to Canada, where his NHL career started, and taking part in the ‘Battle of Alberta’ with the provincial-rival Edmonton Oilers were benefits to signing with the Flames, but what ultimately led him to sign was how close he feels the team is to winning a Stanley Cup.

“Ultimately, it’s about winning and that played a huge factor in me coming to Calgary,” Kadri said. “The time is now and it certainly can be close with the moves we’ve made and me hopping on board.”

The 31-year-old Kadri had 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) in 71 games for the Avalanche in 2021-22. He added 15 points in 16 playoff games, including the overtime winner in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final against Tampa Bay.

That was his return to action after being injured in Game 3 of the Western Conference final after being hit from behind by Edmonton forward Evander Kane.

Kadri’s addition capped a wild off-season for the Flames that saw star forward Johnny Gaudreau walk away in free agency.

The Flames’ leading scorer last season (115 points), and a finalist for the Hart Trophy as league MVP, Gaudreau informed the Flames before the start of the free agency period that we would not be re-signing with the Flames in a desire to move closer to home.

The New Jersey native signed a seven-year, $68.25-million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets when free agency opened on July 13,.

Calgary was then informed that forward Matthew Tkachuk, who had a breakout season with 42 goals and 104 points, would not sign a contract extension after the upcoming season.

What looked like a potential nightmare for Calgary started to turn around when the Flames dealt Tkachuk to Florida for a package that included forward Jonathan Huberdeau, who had 115 points last season, and defenceman Mackenzie Weegar.

The Flames then locked up Huberdeau long-term with an eight-year, $84-million contract extension.

“It’s alarming to anybody when you lose players of that magnitude,” Kadri said. “But I think Brad (Flames GM Brad Treliving) has done a great job getting some return and valuable players.”

This is not the first time the Flames have tried to add Kadri to their roster. The Flames attempted to acquire him from the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019, but Kadri used the no-trade clause in his contract to veto the deal. Kadri was then traded to the Avalanche on July 1, 2019.

“I didn’t see myself leaving (Toronto),” Kadri said about the situation. “That had nothing to do with the city of Calgary or the organization, I just wanted to stay where I was.

“It’s important for me to clarify that. I think it’s important because I’ve always admired the city of Calgary and Canada in general. I’m a Canadian boy. I love playing in Canada but it’s certainly ironic, but it was always a team that was on my radar.”

Kadri was selected seventh overall by Toronto in the 2009 NHL draft and has 512 points (219 goals, 293 assists) in 739 career games with the Maple Leafs and Colorado.

The London, Ontario native has yet to have his day with the Stanley Cup, but his plans include taking it to his hometown.

He also said he’s going to bring it to Toronto, where he spent his first eight NHL seasons.

“I’ve done a lot of growing up in that city as well and there’s been lots of supports of mine there,” he said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2022.

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Alberta

Reports: Flames closing in on signing UFA forward Nazem Kadri

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The Calgary Flames are closing in on a deal to sign unrestricted free agent Nazem Kadri, according to multiple media reports.

Sportsnet reported the deal is for seven years at US$7 million per season.

The Flames, according to Sportsnet and TSN, are moving forward Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens to create salary cap space for Kadri’s contract. Details of that trade have not been released.

The 32-year-old Kadri was one of the biggest names available in free agency after an All-Star season with Colorado that ended with the Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup.

Kadri had 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) in 71 games for the Avalanche in 2021-22.

He added 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 16 playoff games, including the overtime winner in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final against Tampa Bay. That was his return to action after being injured in Game 3 of the Western Conference final after being hit from behind by Edmonton forward Evander Kane.

Kadri’s signing would be the latest chapter of a chaotic off-season for the Flames.

Calgary lost leading scorer and Hart Trophy candidate Johnny Gaudreau to the Columbus Blue Jackets early in free agency, then was informed that star forward Matt Tkachuk would not sign a contract extension after the upcoming season.

The Flames dealt Tkachuk to Florida for a package that included forward Jonathan Huberdeau, who had 115 points last season, and defenceman Mackenzie Weegar.

The Flames then locked up Huberdeau long-term with an eight-year, US$84-million contract extension.

Monahan, selected sixth overall by the Flames in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has played nine seasons in Calgary. The three-time 30-goal scorer tallied just eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 65 games last season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 222.

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