Winter season cancelled for Ontario university sports

Ontario University Athletics (OUA) has cancelled the 2020-21 winter sports season.

On Thursday, October 15, the OUA announced the cancellation of its sport programming and championships up to March 31, 2021 based on provincial public health guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winter sports cancelled include basketball, hockey, volleyball, wrestling, swimming, curling, fencing, track and field, figure skating and squash. This ruling also applies to the majority of Brock’s club sports, including cheer, dance, equestrian, powerlifting, ball hockey and ringette.

U SPORTS also announced its 2021 winter national championships are cancelled due the pandemic. The impacted events include the women’s and men’s championships in basketball, hockey, swimming, track and field, volleyball and wrestling. Curling Canada previously announced the suspension of the 2021 university championships.

Anna Lathrop, Brock’s Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Students, said the decision is about prioritizing the safety of its entire community.

“Although we are disappointed with the news that all OUA activity is cancelled until the end of March, we understand that these decisions are made keeping the health and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches and staff top of mind,” Lathrop said. “We continue to be hopeful for a return to a competitive season, but in the meantime, we will continue to support our student-athletes virtually and within appropriate public health guidelines for training.”

Student-athletes who compete in winter sports will not lose a year of eligibility due to the cancellation of the winter 2020 season.

The announcement comes after the 2020 OUA fall season was cancelled on June 8.

“It takes immense commitment to be a student-athlete. This period of time has proven just how dedicated our student-athletes can be during such tough times, engaging in training and adapting to an online learning environment, all while following safety protocols for their sake, and their teammates,” said Emily Allan, Associate Director, Athletics, Brock Sports. “I look forward to next season because I believe our teams’ chemistry will be stronger than ever, having endured these uncertain times together.”

Brock Sports and the University will continue virtual team and coach meetings, online physical, technical, skill and strength training sessions, virtual sport medicine support with therapists and physicians, as well as mental health and academic support.

Brock is hosting two Virtual Town Halls to answers questions from student-athletes on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. Access information has been sent to the Brock email account of all student-athletes.

Brock Sports will continue implementing return-to-train protocols in accordance with provincial health regulations, although a date for a return to competition has yet to be decided.

“We will continue our phased-in approach for a safe return to sport for all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff over the coming months with the hope of returning to normalcy in time for the 2021-22 season,” said Allan.

In addition to the scheduled town hall meetings, a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the Brock University coronavirus web page here.

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