Rode: Not quite retired, slowing down

For the past 22 years Randy Dymianiw knew exactly where he’d be when he went to work.

Come the end of June all that will change.

Dymianiw, who took over as Sports Facilities and Equipment Coordinator at RDC in January of 1995, will retire June 30.

“It will be a sad day … will be tough, but the fact I’m staying in Red Deer and will maintain the relationships I have here will make it easier,” he said. “It won’t be a day-to-day thing and it will take some time to digest to the fact I’ve been working for over 40 years and I won’t have that. But I’m sure I will adjust.”

He made the decision to leave, as he wanted a “change of pace and to just slow down a bit.

“I have little ones in Australia and it’s run it’s course,” he said. “I want to do some other stuff. I will be involved in the (2019 Canada) Winter Game and the transition to the new facility.”

The 63-year-old worked in sporting goods for 20 years before applying for the RDC job when Terry Burns left.

“I was shortlisted for the job but they hired a guy out of Calgary, who had worked with the Olympics at the University,” he explained. “I was a bit devastated because I was so close. He started in May and quit in November to take a job at a YMCA in Calgary to be close to his girlfriend. They called me and asked if I was still interested and said yes without hesitating.

“That was 22 years ago and it’s been great. The fun part is the relationships I made on campus. I’m very close to the coaches and instructors and know the athletes and being able to watch them grow is great. That will be hard to leave, but I’m not going anywhere and you’ll see me around here more than you think.”

Dymianiw will work with his replacement in June.

“That’s a great idea. When I started I jumped right into the fire with no training and learned things by the seat of my pants.”

Dymianiw will also do as much as possible to make the transition to the Gary W. Harris Canada Games facility as smooth as possible.

“I’ve been dreaming of a new facility for 10 to 12 years,” he said. “Originally it looked like we’d have a new facility approved back in 2008 or 2009 and I was hoping it would be open on my birthday in 11-11-11, but the funding fell through.”

The new equipment area will have a large laundry and a sales area to sell memberships for students and the community.

“I hope to be involved in that in some capacity,” Dymianiw added. “I could restring rackets, or work in sales as they will sell laces, pucks, shorts, socks … all kinds of knick-knacks. Or possibly with the hockey teams … we’ll see what develops.”

Dymianiw will be leaving during the quiet time of the year as the athletic season is close to over and students are preparing for exams.

“The crazy time is in the fall when there’s preseason games, working on uniforms and students are coming in and you’re selling memberships.”

He also has to make sure the gymnasium floors are ready for play and the equipment is working.

“We just redid the floor in the main gym at Christmas to prepare for the volleyball championships,” he said. “As well we replaced some winch motors on the basketball backboards.”

When the new facility opens the main gym and storage area will remain, but the KS Gym, the locker rooms and the equipment room as well as the fitness area will be repurposed.

“The fitness area will be taken over by the Student’s Association, which is good for them. The present fitness area has about 3,500 square feet of space, while the new one will be 10-12,000 square feet. And that’s just part of what will be in a great facility. The new state of the art gym will have stadium seating for 1,500. Then there’s the 200-metre running track and four international calibre squash courts and, of course, the arena.”

The arena will house the Kings and Queens as well as Hockey Alberta and a minor hockey area.

“Minor hockey came on board a bit late, but they’re modifying an area for them,” explained Dymianiw, who also likes the new setup.

“Everyone who comes in to the gymnasium, the fitness area or washrooms, will have a single point of entry through the equipment area,” he said. “The arena is the only area where you don’t go through that entrance.”

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca

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