Brock University’s Alumni Field will go unused for varsity athletics at least for the fall. Supplied photo Brock University.
There will be no fall season for Brock Badgers student-athletes to compete in this year.
Earlier this week, Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announced the cancellation of its sport programming and championships up until Dec. 31, 2020 based on provincial public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar announcements were made by other provincial governing bodies across the country Monday, and U SPORTS announced that all fall national championships were also cancelled.
Fall sports cancelled include: baseball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, rowing, rugby, soccer, softball, tennis and ultimate frisbee. All other varsity and club sports are on hold for the remainder of 2020.
Student-athletes who compete in fall sports will not lose a year of eligibility due to the cancellation of the fall 2020 season.
“While this has been a challenging course of action for all involved, the health and safety of our student-athletes and all participants remain paramount,” said Gord Grace, OUA President and CEO. “Even though we will not have the opportunity to celebrate our student-athletes on the field during the first term, they remain at the heart of what our organization is about and we will continue to work toward achieving a safe return to play when the time is right to do so.”
The OUA remains hopeful that student-athletes will be able to return to play in the new year and that sports such as basketball, hockey and volleyball would compete in condensed schedules, added Grace.
Brock Sports is hosting two virtual town halls to answer questions from student-athletes on Monday, June 8 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, June 9 at noon. Access information has been sent to the Brock email account of all student-athletes.
Emily Allan, Associate Director, Athletics, emphasised the importance of a safe return for student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and fans.
“I understand how disappointing this is for everyone, but the most important thing for Brock Sports, the University, the OUA and U SPORTS is the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” said Allan. “Just like our student-athletes, our coaches and staff in Brock Sports are extremely passionate about what they do, and will work to ensure we get through this together.”
The Badgers are continuing with virtual team and coach meetings, online physical, technical, skill and strength training sessions, virtual sport medicine support with therapists and physicians, and mental health and academic support.
“Brock Sports Medicine and Brock Sports performance continue to be committed to providing our Brock athletes with the best virtual resources available ensuring they are prepared to compete when the OUA, Brock University administration and public health provide permission to return to train and return to competition,” said Steve Lidstone, Associate Director, Sport Medicine and Sport Performance.
Brock Sports will implement a return-to-train protocol when permission has been granted by the provincial government, public health and Brock University administration.
“I ask that our student-athletes remain focused, strong and committed to their future athletic and academic journey with us,” said Anna Lathrop, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Students. “Brock athletes know what it is to persevere in the face of adversity, and what it means to ‘push through’ with mental and physical fortitude when competitive conditions bring unforeseen challenges.”