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Holland Hurricanes COVID-19 RESPONSES to FAQs

June 16, 2020

For your information, guidance and encouragement, the series of frequently asked questions and answers below is provided to ensure student athletes at Holland College have the details following our announcement to suspend varsity play for the fall of 2020. We are aggressively pursuing all opportunities to quickly and safely bring back athletics to Holland College and we suggest you stay tuned for ongoing developments throughout the summer.

As well, to assist in your planning for the coming fall here is the link to the academic delivery plan for every program at Holland College - https://www.hollandcollege.com/academic-delivery-plan-2020-2021.html

Please let us know if you have any other questions – we are here to help you.

Q1. Why are leagues such as Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) and the Atlantic Football League (AFL) suspending competition for fall 2020?

First and foremost, the health and safety of the student athletes and everyone involved in varsity and recreational sports is our top priority. All decisions made since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have been in accordance with government and public health directives, in coordination with sport governing bodies and college senior administration and has focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of our student athletes, coaches, staff and community.

Secondly, the majority of the member institutions have decided to adopt a hybrid academic delivery model for the fall semester, thereby greatly minimizing the number of students and staff on campus and limiting access to academic buildings and other associated facilities. The ACAA’s decision aligns with colleges’ and universities’ approach to managing physical distancing and phased return-to-campus plans.

Q2. How will a decision on winter 2021 sports be made and will any fall sports be able to be played in spring 2021?

Holland College and the ACAA along with the Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association (women) will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation on an ongoing basis. While there is continued uncertainty, the Holland Hurricanes department is actively participating in discussions with key stakeholders in every sport and working collectively to determine how we can return safely to collegiate sport as soon as possible. A decision on winter 2021 sports will be made during the fall 2020 term in collaboration with the member institutions and senior administrations, while continuing to follow government and public health directives. The possibility of offering a spring 2021 season for suspended fall 2020 sports will be part of the ongoing discussions.

Q3. If Prince Edward Island and other provinces phase in various levels of sport and events before school starts, will Holland College reconsider the suspension of varsity athletics for this fall?

Yes – absolutely. Our desire is to get back to practice and play as soon as possible. The decision to suspend varsity athletic competition until January 2021 will not change for the ACAA or the AFL, as academic delivery models and campus access restrictions for fall 2020 have already been finalized by the member institutions. Information provided by public health and other government recommendations have been and will continue to be considered as part of the ACAA’s planning for the year. However, unfortunately there are many factors involved in coming to this decision that will not be changing. Holland College is steadfastly working on options to deliver a student-athlete experience this fall as well as reinstating training and competition in sports whenever and wherever possible.

Q4. Are gymnasiums and training facilities closed to all students and athletes during this time?

Our fitness centres and gymnasium are currently closed as we accommodate for our summer children’s camps. Future decisions on facility access for students are ever-changing and will be made in consideration of public health and rules for re-introduction pertaining to each sport. Please consult with Nadine Moore – nrmoore@hollandcollege.com in our Athletics Department for more information.

Q5. How will student athlete eligibility be impacted with this decision?

The ACAA is considering and will be addressing all eligibility-related implications and will work in conjunction with the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association to determine eligibility status for 2020-21.

Q6. I am a student athlete, how are athletic-financial awards affected by this decision?

The status of athletic-financial awards for 2020-21 will be determined by the Holland Hurricanes athletic department on an individual basis. Please consult Albert Roche – aroche@hollandcollege.com in our Athletics Department for more information.

Q7. What will this mean for recruiting, and new student athletes?

Holland College will continue to recruit students to attend our college, which includes actively recruiting Hurricanes student athletes so that we are prepared and ready to compete when varsity sports fully resume. For new student athletes scheduled to begin their studies in September, we encourage you to carry on your education path as planned in consultation with your Athletics Department.

Q8. Why not just play in empty gymnasiums and similar facilities like professional sports are doing?

Most professional sports leagues are not using their own facilities either, but are instead creating a hub city where their teams will be housed and play over the course of multiple months. The public health and safety restrictions in these areas are also very different than what is currently in effect in the Province of Prince Edward Island. Additionally, we do not have access to the same level and scale of facilities, medical staff and health care support, testing rigour, financial models and other factors affecting professional sports which may allow them to return to competition at this time. Again, we are examining all options for the safe resumption of collegiate play.

Q9. I am a student athlete; can we still train in-person as a team?

Decisions on return to in-person training for student athletes will be made based on the health and safety protocols established by Holland College, in accordance with public health conditions. We are actively working with our coaches and others to facilitate training opportunities. Please consult Albert Roche – aroche@hollandcollege.com in our Athletics Department for more information.

Q10. How will varsity athletics assist in the recovery of student life?

Once it is deemed safe to reboot sports with limited restrictions we will be ready to welcome back our student athletes. The return of varsity athletics will be a significant contributor to the re-engagement of not only the Holland College student body, but also staff and the general community. The platform of varsity athletics generates opportunities for students to become engaged in a highly socialized facet of student life, connect with others, and develop a sense of pride and belonging to Holland College. We are looking forward to the day when we can return to our full Hurricanes varsity schedule and resume contributing to student life across the province in this meaningful way.

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