By Mia Hildebrandt
Earlier this week the ACAC announced the cancelation of all fall semester sports. It was also announced there are plans to reschedule the seasons for April 2021.
Women’s volleyball player and Saskatchewan resident, Anna Ancheynum says that it is hard the season it post-poned but understands the decision.
“They have our best interest at heart and they are doing what they can to have a season for us,” said Anacheynum.
With courses being delivered primarily online and no league play to be trained for, there is a difficult decision for student-athletes to make, especially if they live outside of Edmonton.
Women’s volleyball player Karly Burkinshaw says that although she lives in Grande Prairie she is still making the move to be in Edmonton for the semester.
“If there’s a chance we can start training for January I want to be there and my program might be offering some limited in-person labs,” said Burkinshaw.
Atcheynum says she will also be making the move despite the online delivery as she would be paying rent on her apartment regardless.
“It’ll also give me the chance to focus on school without as many distractions as being at home,” said Atcheynum.
As Burkinshaw nears the end of her post-secondary education it also means the end of her volleyball career.
“I’m glad we still have a partial year as that opportunity was taken away from so many other athletes,” said Burkinsaw.
Another issue that occurs from a shortened season is the gelling and chemistry of a team. Burkinshaw says typically the first semester is a pre-season to get the kinks worked out.
“Second semester is more directed towards building on the foundation we laid out in first,” said Burkinsaw.
Since there is no league play for the fall semester and limited travel available, the opportunity to play scrimmages and get game experience is far less than it normally is for teams.
Atcheynum says with all the first-semester training it potentially gives the team a chance to create a bond before the season but also says it could pose different challenges.
“Taking away the first semester experiences would impact the development of the first year players,” said Atcheynum.
Burkinshaw says that although the news was disappointing for many athletes she’s grateful for a partial season.