King’s plans for athletics programming in the coming fall term

King’s plans for athletics programming in the coming fall term

Dear King’s Blue Devils:

COVID-19 has made a profound impact on our lives. As administrators and university professionals, the safety of students, faculty, staff, and community has been our utmost concern.

As you all know, the university has announced that education will be delivered online for the fall term, and longer if necessary. I know that this has raised serious questions about competitive athletics and conventional team gatherings in larger groups. The following is the official decision that the ACAA has cancelled the sport seasons for the fall.

Based on the risks to safety, our regular way of delivering the sports you love is going to change. However, make no mistake, you are all still part of your team and the Blue Devil family and we value every opportunity to connect with you as we work together to remain active in the absence of regular competition. We encourage you to make your academic plans as you prepare for your education in the fall. We are already planning exciting virtual programs that will be beneficial to all of you during these strange times. These and other activities are taking shape. We recognize that it can be difficult to find the motivation to do workouts on your own but remember that you will always have your teammates and coaches for both ideas and support. It is extremely important for both your physical and mental health that you stay connected and active.

The support you will receive from your Athletics Department will be a combination of virtual yoga and strength and conditioning training delivered as separate programs. The programs will be coordinated through your coaches and tailored to the needs of your sport. Qualified, experienced instructors have been secured and coaches will be consulted on all aspects of these programs. Coaches will be in touch with you on skill development and will be working toward actual in-person, sport-specific workouts as per public health guidelines involving physical distancing and smaller groups. The details of our programming will come as we learn more about what we are able to do within public health restrictions and with university guidance. Through online platforms, teams will be able to stay in regular contact with each other and their coaches. Even though we are all in the middle of this pandemic our goal is to provide the best possible experience in the absence of what you would normally do in practices and games. We will be providing regular updates to you in the near future as more programming is organized. To this end, we will soon host an online Q&A session for student-athletes where you can all find out more and ask questions about any of the concerns you might have.

On the academic side, we are very happy to report that free tutoring is available for any student-athlete who needs it. More details will be available soon as to how to book this and an e-mail will be sent with all the necessary information you need. We are also pleased to inform you that any athletic scholarships you were to receive will still be in place for you even though we are not playing in the fall. Whether there are games or not, you are still members of the team! We are very proud of all of your academic and athletic achievements and are honoured to provide this support!

To all Blue Devils, both new and current, know that your coaches are incredibly supportive and share your concerns about the upcoming season. They await guidance from the Athletics Department and will be in touch very soon to take you through their plans for this COVID-19 period and beyond. Trish Miles, Athletics Coordinator, and myself, Neil Hooper, Director of Athletics, will be working closely with our coaches to provide you with the best possible opportunities to stay active and help you focus on skill development with your teammates. King’s is very much a family and we will all work together with excellent support from Athletics staff, coaches, faculty, university departments and administrators, to make this year enjoyable for everyone!

In closing, we have missed all of you who are returning and cannot wait to meet our newest members of King’s family, our first-year players. Although this is not how you were all planning to start your athletic seasons, we will be working every day to provide you the next best experience. We want to keep you connected to your teammates and build new relationships with first-year student-athletes. King’s is a school that values sport and the experience it adds to a great education, while making fond memories that will be cherished for the rest of your lives.

Please reach out to Neil Hooper (Director of Athletics) neil.hooper@ukings.ca or Trish Miles (Athletics Coordinator) trish.miles@ukings.ca if there are any concerns or questions about varsity athletics or any services offered by our department. Follow us on social media for new information.

We are thinking about all of you and know that we are in your corner! Please stay safe and healthy. We will be working toward a better day and getting back to what we all love to do.

Neil Hooper
Director of Athletics

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