AUS season could still happen, but national championships will not

AUS organizes a committee to examine return to play options

A return to Atlantic University Sport (AUS) competition has not been ruled out for winter 2021.

The AUS announced the formation of a Return-To-Play committee on Oct. 15. It consists of one athletic director from each of the four Atlantic provinces, plus the AUS’s director of sport programming. The committee will examine concerns around health and safety, finances and travel caused by COVID-19 in Atlantic Canada. 

The committee will present return to play recommendations to the AUS board of directors by early November. A board decision will come in mid-November regarding whether sports could still go ahead in the winter.

AUS executive director Phil Currie credited the success of the Atlantic bubble for keeping hopes of competition alive this year.

“The remarkable success of the Atlantic Canadian bubble places our conference in a unique position nationally to consider options surrounding return to play,” Currie said in the AUS’s Oct. 15 statement.

U Sports national championships cancelled

The AUS statement came out moments after U Sports officially cancelled winter 2021 national championships. On June 8, U Sports and its conferences called off the fall season and cancelled six fall national championships.

Dick White, U Sports’ interim CEO, summed up the decision in one sentence in their announcement: “It is not logistically possible for teams to be travelling across the country at this time.”

After U Sports’ announcement on national championships, Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announced they would not hold competition in the winter. The Canada West Universities Athletic Association said all sports except curling, swimming and track and field would not happen in the winter. An update on those three sports will come at a later time.

Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) announced competition would not return until Jan. 15 at the earliest. RSEQ’s deputy CEO Stephane Boudreau said in September that a season update would come after a decision on national championships.

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Luke Dyment

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