The new head of athletics at Laurentian University said it’s hard to hear that there won’t be any varsity sports in when the fall term rolls around, but it’s the right decision.
Peter Hellstrom was reacting to news Ontario University Athletics was cancelling the fall term of varsity athletics until Dec. 31, 2020. Atlantic University Sport, Canada West and U SPORTS have all made similar announcements, effectively ending varsity sport for the fall term in Canada.
“This news is difficult for all of us who have been driven by sport our entire lives,” said Hellstrom, Laurentian University’s athletic director. “Even though it is the right decision to ensure the health and safety of all of our student-athletes, coaches and stakeholders, it doesn’t make it any easier. Hopefully we will be able to have some kind of sport offering in the new year but only time will tell.”
The chair of the OUA, Dr. Mike DeGagné characterized the move as “unprecedented times require unprecedented action” and the health of “student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, and fans is our No. 1 priority.”
The Dec. 31, 2020 date isn’t set in stone, though. The announcement clarified that it is more of a guideline and “there will be no university varsity competition until at least January 2021,” meaning the cancellation could be extended based on circumstances.