Laurier Athletic Complex closed and other key Laurier events cancelled due to COVID-19

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Wilfrid Laurier University, in line with public health officials’ recommendations, has decided to cancel all athletics, recreation and events that are not a part of course or academic requirements until April 30. 

The move by Laurier continues the unfortunate trend that the coronavirus has left on the world of sports. At every level around the globe, from youth teams to senior teams, college players to professional players; sports leagues, facilities and operations have been cancelled or postponed due to the frightening path of the pandemic. 

The closure will include all intramural activities, classes/sessions, clubs and the Athletic Complex. While scheduled to last until April 30, the virus and situation surrounding it continue to evolve daily, and it is likely that the University will not be able to resume any athletic activities for a much longer period of time. 

The announcement also meant the cancellation of some of the more prominent end of the year sports events held by Laurier. The athletic banquet, Outstanding Women of Laurier event and the football team’s fundraising dinner have all been cancelled for this year. 

This comes as a massive disappointment, as many of these events serve a great purpose not only for fundraising but also as a special time for the Laurier student-athletes who are honoured for all of their hard work and success both athletically and academically. 

These measures were put in place after the numerous recommendations by health experts to avoid any large gatherings. Since the cancellation over the weekend, many experts and government officials, including the CDC in the United States, have urged people to avoid any gatherings of over 10 people.         

The Outstanding Women of Laurier event was set to be held on March 26 with Toronto Raptors assistant coach Brittni Donaldson as the keynote speaker. Swimmer Lauren Cuylle and basketball players Rachel Woodburn and Brianna Iannazzo were the three nominees for the award this year. With the event cancellation, these three incredible student-athletes will not receive the recognition they deserved. 

All three of these women have made great contributions to the community and their program and deserve that recognition. Both Woodburn and Iannazzo had great seasons for coach Falco’s basketball teams and before the news had become so dismal, he took a minute to comment on their contributions not only as players but also people. 

“Both Rachel and Brianna had great seasons and it will be tough to see Rachel go. They are great people as well, they got involved, gave back to the community and were both academic all-Canadians, a huge honour that they are on track to both earn once again this year,” Falco said. 

While disappointment has set in around the Laurier campus, the pandemic has caused grave disruption in the lives of nearly everyone across the world. The decision by Laurier should come as no surprise given the severe uncertainty that is currently encompassing the globe.

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