Uncertainty for Stingers Teams Following Announcement of Online Fall Term

U Sports Seasons in Doubt as COVID-19 Pandemic Rages On

Uncertainly looms over coming U-Sports season. Photo Caroline Marsh

Concordia University announced last Thursday that the fall academic term will take place almost entirely online, raising questions about the feasibility of the Stingers’ athletics seasons.

“We need to prioritize the health of our community and exercise our civic responsibility as a large institution in the City of Montreal,” university president Graham Carr said in a letter addressing students.

Attention now turns to the near future of university athletics in Quebec, as the Réseau de Sport Étudiant du Québec and its members figure out how to save the 2020 sporting season.

As it stands, both the RSEQ and U Sports have yet to make a decision on the potential return of sports in the next few months.

In an automated email response, RSEQ president Gustave Roel said the organization would consult its members on how to proceed “if all schools, cegeps, and universities are to reopen.”

“Decisions will be made in the coming weeks and will primarily be based on directives from the government,” said D’Arcy Ryan, director of recreation and athletics at Concordia.

While players and coaches wait for more information on the situation, they’ve been doing what they can to stay prepared from home with the hope that they will have a season when fall rolls around.

“We’ve been holding Zoom workouts and whatever else we can manage virtually, and guys are working individually as well,” men’s basketball coach Rastko Popovic said. “There is just too much uncertainty right now, so we try not to discuss it too much and focus on doing what we can to improve as athletes and human beings.”

Whether Concordia’s athletics facilities will reopen to Stingers athletes and staff remains to be seen and would play an integral part in preparing for or hosting games as part of a potential season.

With the start of training camps over two months away, the fate of Stingers’ activities beginning next fall depend largely on the provincial government’s decisions over the next few months.

“I know that everyone is anxious, and we are trying to be optimistic and hopeful,” said Ryan. “What the return to sport will look like is still up in the air.”