Canada West makes decision to cancel first term sport seasons

Following the recommendation of the Canada West (CW) board, the 17 members of the CW conference voted on Friday, June 5 for the cancellation of first term competition team sports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) will follow this directive, meaning that the Huskies first term seasons for football, and men’s and women’s soccer will be cancelled. 

While a difficult decision, explained Dave Hardy, Huskie Chief Athletics Officer, it was the only choice possible when considering the health and safety of our student-athletes, our fans and the greater community. 

“We will always have the best interests of our student-athletes in mind, this decision was not taken lightly and Huskie Athletics as a whole will continue to work to support the student-athletes impacted, said Hardy. 

The announcement comes on the same day as both the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) and Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conferences announced their own first term cancellations. Nationally, U SPORTS also announced the cancellation of all U SPORTS first term national championships. 

The CW board came to the recommendation after extensive work from a COVID-19 task force that included CW board members as well as medical professionals. The decision falls in line with both federal and provincial health directives. 

It is important to make this decision now to give Huskie student-athletes certainty as they begin to plan for the fall, including whether they plan to relocate based on the delivery model of their respective colleges, said Hardy. 

All Huskie student-athletes will continue to receive the supports necessary for their success even without the fall season, including physiotherapy, nutrition, strength and conditioning, mental health supports, access to training facilities as well as academic and coaching supports,” said Hardy.  

A decision on first semester individual sports, including cross country at USask, will be made no later than July 15 following further consultation. For sports that span across both first and second terms—this includes basketball, hockey, track and field, volleyball and wrestling at USask—a decision will be made no later than the fall CW meeting on October 8, with those sports starting no sooner than January 2021. 

“Until we have further decisions from Canada West, Huskie Athletics will continue to prepare for the return of sports and we look forward to welcoming all of our supporters back once it is safe to do so,” said Hardy. “As always, our goal remains to make Huskie Athletics the top program in Canada for our student-athletes. We are only able to do that because of the dedication of Huskie staff, coaches and supporters. Now is the time, more than ever, when we support our Huskies.” 

Season ticket holders who had reserved seats in any of our venues for 2019-2020 will continue to have those same seats held and reserved for them for the 2021-2022 season.