College sports suspends competitions for 2020 fall term due to COVID-19

The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) has decided to suspend competition during the 2020 fall term due to COVID-19 precautions. As a result, an adjusted conference schedule will begin in January 2021, which includes a delay to cross country running and soccer seasons until the spring.

“As a member of the ACAC, Red Deer College supports the decision and recognizes that it was made very carefully with the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches, officials, athletics staff and fans in mind,” says RDC President Dr. Peter Nunoda. “While the announcement is emotional for many, the College is dedicated to working with our student-athletes, coaches and staff during this time as we prepare to compete in the Winter term.”

The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), of which the ACAC is one of five conference members, cancelled four 2020 Fall National Championships, affecting the typical September start for RDC Soccer and Cross Country Running.

U Sports, the national governing body of university sport in Canada, cancelled six fall national university championships and many of its conference members also postponed league games. 

Canada West cancelled team competitions for the 2020 Fall term. Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Atlantic University Sport (AUS) postponed their sanctioned sport programming and championships until January. Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) has not made a formal announcement.

“I understand that the suspension of fall competition is disappointing for many, but the College and RDC Athletics will support our student-athletes on many levels, one of which includes our commitment to awarding RDC athletics scholarships to student-athletes who meet revised eligibility criteria,” says RDC Athletic Director Diane St-Denis. 

“RDC Athletics is collaborating with the College’s Ancillary & Sport Services to identify a return to training plan for our teams, according to the health and safety protocols set by the Government of Alberta. Our coaches will stay highly engaged with our student-athletes over the following months, overseeing the training programs in preparation for a January start.”

While sports activity within the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will look much different for the fall, there is plenty of excitement for competition in the new year. In addition to the regular season commencing in January, the Red Deer College Queens will host the ACAC Women’s Volleyball Championship from Feb. 25-27, 2021 at the Centre. Then shortly after, the RDC Queens Basketball team will enter the post season as hosts of the ACAC Championship from March 4-6, 2021.