There will be no varsity sports at Nipissing University for the rest of the year.
Ontario University Athletics announced Monday the cancellation of all OUA-sanctioned sport programming and championships to Dec. 31 based on provincial public health guidelines.
“Unprecedented times require unprecedented action, which is what led us to this difficult decision,” Mike DeGagne, chair of the OUA board of directors and president and vice-chancellor of Nipissing, said.
“The health of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and fans is our No. 1 priority, and after significant consultation, we believe that OUA sport cannot be delivered prior to Dec. 31. We are committed to delivering OUA sport once our provincial public health authorities indicate it is safe to do so.”
Nipissing student athletes were informed of the decision Monday by the university.
The university is working on a return-to-campus operations plan which will offer advice on all aspects of campus life, including athletic schedules and training programs.
The university is still encouraging its athletes to plan to return to campus this fall.
Gord Grace, OUA president and CEO, said universities have faced “a challenging course of action for all involved, the health and safety of our student-athletes and all participants remain paramount.
“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.”
Grace said he hopes OUA “can provide quality experiences for our student-athletes starting in the new year and will be closely monitoring the ongoing health considerations and viability for these future opportunities over the coming months. Through these exceptional circumstances, I know that the entirety of the OUA will continue to show that we are one.”
The Canada West and Atlantic University Sport have also announced the cancellation of their respective first term sport schedules.