Meanwhile the OUA will resume play this weekend
Due to its geographical location, the University of Ottawa gives its varsity teams the choice of competing in either Ontario University Athletics (OUA) or the Réseau du Sports Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ).
Teams choose their conference based on a number of factors including, the level of competition, the scholarship rules and the recruiting pool. But COVID-19 has thrown a wrench for those who play in RSEQ. With Ontario easing its rules for amateur sports, the OUA teams are set to resume play this weekend, while Quebec’s more stringent guidelines have yet to allow amateur sports to resume.
Currently, only two U of O varsity teams whose season is ongoing compete in RSEQ — the women’s hockey team and the women’s volleyball team. They are still waiting on the sidelines while Gee-Gee teams such as the men’s hockey and basketball teams prepare to resume their season this weekend. This, even though these teams are based in Ottawa.
For the volleyball team’s captain Magalie Frappier, this situation is hard to understand.
“I feel like it is totally unfair, especially because the OUA teams will play this weekend. We don’t even know when will get that chance,” she said.
For the assistant captains of the women’s hockey team, Alice Fillion and Jade Todd, it is a hard situation to accept.
“We are kind of wondering why everyone else can play and not us. Even the lower leagues in Ontario for women’s hockey are able to play and we’re not allowed to have games, we’re kind of just wondering what’s happening and just we’re really in the dark,” said Todd.
“It is hard to be stopped right now because everyone we know will begin to play again soon,” added Fillion.
Fillion says she has had a lot of ups and downs due to the situation.
”Some days you’re more motivated, but the next day you’re not motivated. It’s like a roller coaster of emotion but we support each other as teammates,” said the veteran.
For Todd, the support between teammates is unconditional and very rewarding in these difficult times.
“It’s been really nice to see my teammates in practices and have them cheer me up if I’m feeling down and vice versa,” she said.
For these athletes, it has become demoralizing to practice with no end goal.
”We’re athletes, we want to play our sports. For me, it’s been five years that I’m with the volleyball team, and the only thing I want to do is play,” said Frappier.
Despite the uncertainties, these athletes keep hope that they will be able to conclude their season.