As they get set to lay down the new turf at Griffiths Stadium in the next six to eight weeks — and while Merlis Belsher Place serves as a field hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic — a few of the Huskies’ teams will have to find a new home to train and work on skill development while play is suspended in U Sports.
The football and soccer teams will occupy neighbouring fields to Griffiths Stadium and the hockey teams will book time in community arenas, but the student athletes are returning.
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“Typically, we would have about 390 student athletes for our 15 teams, and our coaches report that despite that we have no conference programming in the first term and uncertain in the second term, we expect to have 386 athletes training with their teams,” says Dave Hardy, Huskies chief athletic officer.
Competition in the Canada West will not resume until 2021, however, they are trying to plan for some “non-conference” or exhibition games for their soccer teams in the fall.
“We’ve got resources in place for non-conference play, in whatever sense that the health authority and the pandemic allows us to provide that experience to our student athletes.”
The plan is for winter sports to resume in early January, and they are even talking about having some football in the spring.
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“We are one of five teams, that at this time has been invited to Laval. To take part in a tournament in mid May. You know we are envisioning that if things relax, we will be having the Saskatchewan Cup between ourselves and the Rams here in the beginning of May.”
The Huskies begin their fall training on Sept. 8th.