U SPORTS announced Thursday the cancellation of its national championships scheduled for next winter due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
Thus, the four conferences responsible for university sport in the country, including the Quebec Student Sports Network (RSEQ), and the governors of the national organization have unanimously decided to give up the hockey, swimming, athletics, volleyball championships. , wrestling and curling. Moreover, the RSEQ for its part confirmed the suspension of all its activities until January 15, 2021.
Already, university athletes in Canada had been quite affected this year, notably with the cancellation of the football season.
“After consultations with all four conferences, we have agreed that the safety of the student athlete remains our priority,” U SPORTS Acting Executive Director Dick White said in a statement. It is not logistically possible for teams to travel across the country at this time. Therefore, U SPORTS unfortunately has to announce that we are unable to host the winter championships. ”
“Demographically, it’s important to keep in mind the impact on those under 30 at university,” added U SPORTS Chief Medical Officer Dr Taryn Taylor. The number of cases increases during this second wave of COVID-19 and without a vaccine available, constraints relating to the practice of sports are required to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes. ”
Challenges very present
The size of the Canadian territory where university competitions are normally held is a factor that U SPORTS decision-makers have taken into account. The host cities would have had to deal with multiple constraints in terms of public health, according to them.
“U SPORTS is unique as it offers nine winter championships in as many parts of the country,” said athletic director Lisette Johnson-Stapley. Our organizations face a variety of challenges as a result of the coronavirus, which includes travel rules and limits in place for indoor gatherings. This has an impact on the organization of events. We will offer the cities that were to welcome them in 2021 the opportunity to receive them in the years to come. ”
On that note, U SPORTS has indicated it will say more by the end of 2020.