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CCAA cancels national winter sport championships; ACAA could possibly hold conference play

The Holland College Centre for Community Engagement hosted the 2019 Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) women’s volleyball championship match between the host Hurricanes and the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics.
The Holland College Centre for Community Engagement hosted the 2019 Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) women’s volleyball championship match between the host Hurricanes and the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics. - Contributed

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — It has been a bittersweet couple of days for Holland College athletes.

The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) announced on Wednesday it would not be holding the 2021 winter championships due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic. Volleyball, badminton and basketball are the sports affected. The CCAA previously cancelled curling and its national championships for fall sports.

The Holland College Hurricanes were scheduled to host the 2021 national women’s volleyball championship in March.

“The news of the cancellation of the winter championships by the CCAA is understandable and we support the decision,” said Albert Roche, director of athletics and recreation at Holland College. “We are excited to host the women’s volleyball national championship as we feel our program is gaining strength and we truly enjoy hosting the nation on P.E.I. 

“We share in the disappointment felt by our team, however, our first focus is student-athlete safety in these challenging times.”

Although there will be no national championships this year, there could still be varsity winter sports competitions for badminton, basketball and volleyball in the Maritimes.

 

“The news of the cancellation of the winter championships by the CCAA is understandable and we support the decision. We are excited to host the women’s volleyball national championship as we feel our program is gaining strength and we truly enjoy hosting the nation on P.E.I. We share in the disappointment felt by our team, however, our first focus is student-athlete safety in these challenging times.”

- Albert Roche

Decision

The Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) presidents held a conference call earlier this week and agreed to decide by mid-November pending the receipt and review of a conference-wide return-to-play plan drafted by the ACAA athletic directors. This plan must also be reviewed and approved by provincial health authorities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island before it is presented to the presidents, noted a news release issued Thursday.

“I am hopeful that we will still have the opportunity to defend our ACAA championship title this winter,” said Sam Gerbig, a fifth-year member of the Holland College women’s volleyball team. “I know the season won’t look quite the same but we all have our fingers crossed.”

Abby Hyndman, a third-year player with the Hurricanes’ volleyball club, said she was not surprised by the CCAA’s decision. But she added it doesn’t take away the disappointment both she and her teammates are feeling with the missed opportunity to host a national championship in their home gym.

“We will keep training hard in hopes of an Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) season and will prepare so we’re ready for when we can compete nationally again,” said Hyndman.


Members

The following schools comprise the ACAA:

  • St. Thomas University
  • UNBSJ
  • Mount Allison University
  • Crandall University
  • Holland College
  • UNB
  • Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Dal AC
  • University of King’s College
  • Universite Sainte-Anne
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