Ontario University Athletics (OUA), under the direction of its Board of Directors, announced today the cancellation of all OUA-sanctioned sports programming and championships up to March 31, 2021.
"This conclusion was based on provincial public health guidelines and with the health and well-being of all OUA participants at the forefront," the OUA stated in a release Thursday afternoon.
As a result of this announcement, Nipissing University OUA-sanctioned sports programming will also be cancelled up to March 31, 2021.
Back in June, the OUA made the announcement that all OUA-sanctions sports programming would be cancelled for the fall semester.
See related: OUA puts the brakes on all sports for the fall
“The health of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, and fans remains OUA’s number one priority,” said Dr. Deborah MacLatchy, Chair of the OUA Board of Directors in the release.
“After significant consultation with our members and advisors, we have determined that OUA sport cannot be delivered prior to March 31. We recognize how disappointing this is for many, especially our student-athletes, but these are unprecedented times. We are committed to delivering OUA Sport once it is safe to do so.”
Nipissing student-athletes were informed of the decision earlier today. The University will continue to follow its Return to Train plan which is informed by public health guidelines. Student-athletes are still encouraged to return to campus to continue to engage in aspects of a safe Lakers athletics sports program that has been in place since September.
“This is disappointing news for everyone, but the health and safety of our Lakers community remains paramount,” said Vito Castiglione, Director of Athletics, Nipissing University.
“Our student-athletes are strong, determined, and resilient and we will face these challenges as a united Lakers community. I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our athletes and coaches in adhering to public health guidelines and our Return to Train plan to keep each other safe.”
“While we would love nothing more than to see our student-athletes back on the field of play and participating in OUA-sanctioned competition during the 2nd Term, we are not yet at a place where that can occur safely," said Gord Grace, OUA President and CEO.
“As disappointing as that reality is, I am confident that our participants will continue to demonstrate their resolve and determination through these exceptional circumstances and as we work toward an eventual safe return to competition. A decision like this is never easy to make. To continue to uphold the health and safety of all participants, however, it remains a necessary step to take, and I commend the OUA Board of Directors for their work and decision-making throughout this process.”
The full announcement from the OUA can be viewed on their website here.