Red River College sports teams out of action for second consecutive year

By: Bryce Hunt

RRC students are frustrated after learning their sports teams will not be returning for the second year in a row due to COVID-19.

“It just makes no sense,” said Hunter Hiebert, a first-year Digital Media Design student.

Hiebert planned to try out for the Rebels basketball team after a successful high school sports career.

“It’s a shame there won’t be any teams this year,” he said. “Even if I wasn’t playing on one of the teams, attending sports games is a great way to make friends and bring the school together.”

The Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC), which the Rebels usually compete in, will hold soccer, basketball and volleyball competition for both men and women this year.

RRC said they will not be competing in sports to prioritize the health and safety of students and staff as they return to in-person classes.

“We’re continuing to have discussions about when and how we can safely resume athletics on campus,” said Emily Doer, a communications officer for the college.

Among the schools competing in the MCAC this year are RRC rivals Providence University College, Canadian Mennonite University and the Université de Saint-Boniface. 

Red River College’s North Gym sits vacant as the college keeps facilities closed./BRYCE HUNT

RRC’s fitness facilities are also closed while the college works toward a safe re-opening plan. This includes the North Gym, South Gym, fitness centre and indoor walking track at the Notre Dame Campus, and the Exchange Fitness Centre at the Exchange District Campus.

RRC said it’s using its facilities to support essential academic activity. The college has also served as a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. 

“As part of our flexible approach for the fall and goal to increase opportunities for students to access on-campus activities, our Safety and Health Services team continues to work with Public Health to determine the safe offering of support and services on campus,” said Doer.

Hiebert moved into the Exchange District Campus dorms this fall with intentions of working out at the campus’ fitness centre.

The 19-year-old said he works out while in school to maintain both his physical and mental health.

“It’s hard to afford a regular gym membership as a college student,” he said. “The school’s gym would have been the most convenient for everyone living at the dorms.”