The following is a statement issued by Jennifer Myers, executive director, Athletics & Recreation, to the York University community:
Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announced (June 8) the cancellation of all competitive sport until Dec. 31. This announcement was made in concert with similar announcements in Canada West and within Atlantic University Sport, while U SPORTS announced the cancellation of all fall sport championships.
These decisions were not made lightly, and within the OUA, the decision was made by the board of directors. The impact of COVID-19 has been far reaching and sport is no exception. With all OUA institutions announcing the move to hybrid academic delivery models – where some classes may be in person but they will overwhelmingly be delivered online – students and student-athletes need timely information to determine the best decision for themselves regarding their academic pursuits. (Read the full OUA statement.)
COVID-19 also presents significant challenges for institutions to navigate how to protect student-athletes within all Ministry of Health guidelines. Universities must do everything to ensure the health and safety of all students, student-athletes and staff in this time of uncertainty.
While COVID restrictions may change before the start of the fall semester, ensuring a decision was made while students were making critical decisions about how they would prefer to engage in their academic studies this fall was important.
There will be no change to this decision, and the OUA board will examine the opportunity to begin competition in the Winter term in the late fall.
York University Athletics & Recreation supports this decision by the board. We value the well-being and academic success of all our student-athletes. This decision is extremely disappointing to us and many of you will struggle to figure out how to move forward. There will be a range of emotions as you come to terms with the impact of this decision and, as always, we are here to support you.
Please reach out to your support network and your coaches as you take in this news and think about what comes next. Andrea and Debbie are also available for support should you want to talk to them.
Included is a list of questions (2020-21 Fall Sports Calendar Cancellation Q-and-A) that many of you have as you navigate the ‘what’s next.’ There will be a team meeting scheduled by your coach where I will be available to answer any question you have to the best of my ability. We are working on getting more information and it will be provided to you as soon as possible.
This is very disappointing news for all of us and I know it will take time for you to digest what it all means. In the meantime, please know that our entire department is here for you. We pride ourselves on our strong Lions family and we will need to lean on each other now more than ever.
Executive Director, Athletics & Recreation