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ACAA cancels 2020-21 season first-semester sports

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jun 9, 2020

Category: UNB Saint John

The Atlantic Collegiate Athletics Association (ACAA) has cancelled all first-semester sports scheduled for the 2020-21 season.

The decision to cancel first-semester sports, which was made after deliberation among its 10-member institutions, affects men’s and women’s soccer and cross country and women’s rugby, as well as exhibition and early season competitions for men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and badminton.

A further decision on basketball, volleyball and badminton will be made at a later date.

The decision, which follows meetings between ACAA university and college presidents on the impact of COVID-19 on sports programming, is a collective response on how institutions can support the adherence of public health directives and how they relate to campus life.

According to the ACAA, they are hopeful that student athletes in first-semester sports may be able to participate in some forms of athletic programming at their respective institutions, including individual or small group training and conditioning, provided they adhere to the requirements mandated by public health authorities. These requirements include physical distancing measures, screening and controlled facility access.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world, and health and safety must be the number one priority for all involved - student athletes, coaches, athletics staff, game day staff and game officials,” says David Munro, athletics director at UNB Saint John.

“The decision was not made lightly, but it will be impossible to modify the sports to accommodate the minimum two metres physical distancing requirement,” he says. “The removal of the physical distancing requirement will be a key component for competition resuming.”

Munro states that they will be looking for ways to keep teams together to provide the best student-athletic experience under the circumstances and within the requirements of public health authorities and UNB.

“Some of the things we will be looking at include academic support, team training, community volunteering and leadership opportunities” he adds. “Our coaches will be looking at ways to continue to train and support varsity athletes, individually and in small groups.”

“Athletics are an enriching part of the university experience, both for student athletes and their supporters,” says Dr. Petra Hauf, vice-president, UNB Saint John. “Our student athletes are great ambassadors for university sport and community engagement. We recognize the decision to cancel fall competition was made to ensure the health and safety of student athletes across the country. UNB has been led by the principles of safety in all its decision-making and, while this outcome may be disappointing, we will endeavour to ensure that, wherever and whenever possible, the student athlete experience continues.”

Decisions on winter semester competition will be made in the fall.

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: Stephanie Guimond, UNB Saint John