Canada West cancels several more sports seasons due to COVID-19
REGINA -- More University of Regina Cougars varsity teams will have their season compromised due to COVID-19.
The Canada West (CW) conference announced Thursday that no conference regular season, playoff or championship events would take place in 2020-21 for basketball, volleyball, hockey, wrestling or rugby sevens competition.
Melanie Sanford, the head coach of the Cougars volleyball team, said the decision was expected.
“You feel sick about it, however it isn’t a surprise that this is what’s happening,” Sanford said. “It’s almost like you have to re-invent yourself and your job in a way.”
The announcement comes after U Sports cancelled football, soccer, cross country and golf due to the pandemic in June.
With regards to curling, track and field, and swimming, Canada West said they’re deferring that decision to a later date.
However, conference members are being encouraged to explore “competitive opportunities for their student-athletes.”
“I would certainly say the actual finality of the actual decision, it hurts,” Lisa Robertson, the director of sport at the University of Regina, said. “I am absolutely committed to try and make their experience this year, uniquely valuable.”
Robertson said the university has already been in talks with the University of Saskatchewan to organize some form of competition between the two schools in the new year.
"We’re both interested in having some comeptition between us, we don’t know exactly what that could look like," Sanford said.
The decision was made by the CW COVID-19 Task Force, a group comprised of athletic directors and medical professionals. The Board recommended that competition in the previously mentioned winter sports be cancelled due to rising case numbers in western Canada, travel restrictions and financial impediments caused by COVID-19 protocols.
U Sports, the governing body of all national championships in Canada, is also cancelling all remaining 2020-21 national championships.