U SPORTS has confirmed there will be no Canadian university winter national championships in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impacted events include the women’s and men’s championships in basketball, hockey, swimming, track and field, volleyball and wrestling.
The news of the cancellations follows Curling Canada’s decision to suspend the 2021 university championships.
U SPORTS say it received the "unanimous support" of the Board and Atlantic University Sport, Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec, Ontario University Athletics and Canada West.
"Following consultations with the four conferences, we agreed that student-athlete safety remains our top priority," said Dick White, interim chief executive of U SPORTS.
"It is not logistically possible for teams to be travelling across the country at this time.
For @DanRTSN, @BonsieTweets, @IceSinghHNIC & Dany Dubé calling 🇨🇦 university sport was an integral step in their career path. As the #StanleyCup Finals heat up they reflect on that path and the opportunities it brought— U SPORTS (@USPORTSca) September 24, 2020
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"Therefore, U SPORTS is in the unfortunate position where we are unable to offer the 2021 winter championships."
Dr Taryn Taylor, chief medical officer for U SPORTS, said the rise in COVID-19 cases played a key role in the decision.
"It is important to consider the impact on the under-30 university demographic,” Dr Taylor said.
"As the number of cases rise during the second wave of COVID-19, and without an available vaccine, on-going sports restrictions are required to ensure student-athlete health and safety."
Lisette Johnson-Stapley, chief sport officer for U SPORTS, added: "U SPORTS is unique in that we offer nine winter championships in nine different parts of the country.
"Our hosts are facing a variety of challenges due to COVID-19, including travel restrictions and limits on public indoor gatherings that impact event planning.
"We look forward to providing the hosts of the cancelled 2021 national championships the opportunity to host in future years."