As athletes return to campus, what’s it going to look like?

Sava Jankovic
January 27, 2022
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yoohyun Park/Production Coordinator

In just a couple of days, restrictions will be loosened, and university sports will resume

On Jan. 20, it was announced that Ontario would be reverting its lockdown policy that was meant to last until Jan. 27. This means that as of Jan. 31, gyms, restaurants and other amenities will be allowed to reopen. In addition to this, the Ontario University Athletics got the green lights to continue its competitions from that date onwards.  

The OUA expressed their disappointment many times with the decision from the Ontario government, deeming the OUA to be non-elite. This decision forced the organization to halt all activities due to their classification as amateur and not elite sport. Immediately, many of the athletes competing in university sports cited their anger with the decision, with the McMaster Olympic alum, Jesse Lumsden, calling the verdict a “joke.” 

Now that a date is set for the return of athletes to campus and their sporting activities, what does it exactly mean to them? 

Francesco Fortino, a member of the men’s wrestling team at McMaster, expressed his happiness with the OUA finally bound to resume.  

“It’s pretty exciting to have some positive news relating to [the OUA]. We had a very solid first semester of training and the team has built a very solid foundation. Personally, I am very excited not only to wrestle, but to witness my teammates perform to the best of their abilities. The whole team is looking forward to coming back,” said Fortino. 

“It’s pretty exciting to have some positive news relating to [the OUA]. We had a very solid first semester of training and the team has built a very solid foundation. Personally, I am very excited not only to wrestle, but to witness my teammates perform to the best of their abilities. The whole team is looking forward to coming back."

Francesco Fortino, Wrestling Team

The lockdown has also had an impact on Fortino’s preparations for the rest of the season.  

“I’d be lying if I said the lockdowns have been easy. However, the lockdowns are just another obstacle that we must deal with. This sport is full of adversity and unpredictability. Preparing has been adjusted slightly, but the grind has continued like always,” said Fortino. 

Although there was no activity from any team during the past month, it is important to note that the McMaster wrestling team has been outstanding this season and has been ranked in the top five teams in Canada. Like others on the team, Fortino is excited to start competing again. 

“Words cannot describe how excited I am to be given another opportunity to compete. There are so many people involved in getting a successful season together. One step at a time, we are ready to move forward and perform at our best in the coming competitions,” said Fortino. 

For now, the expected commencement date for the OUA championships is Feb 9. Although it is unknown whether fans will be allowed back in the stands, it is no secret that the lockdown lift has relieved many student athletes. Not only will students be returning to campus, but they will also be making a satisfying and exciting return to sports. 

Author

  • Sava Jankovic

    Sava is a third-year computer engineering student who loves watching many sports such as soccer and F1. In his free time, he tends to either go to the gym, go out or just stay in and enjoy some alone time. His passion for writing sports has been around for a while, and he is very happy to be writing as a sports reporter for two years now.

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