The UPEI SU is disappointed with Atlantic University Sport (AUS)’s decision to eliminate the UPEI Field Hockey team’s ability to compete for a CIS national championship.
For the past ten years, the CIS had arranged to allow one university from Atlantic Canada to participate in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) regional championships. Through this arrangement, Atlantic Canadian field hockey teams were given the chance to compete toward a CIS Championship. In May, the AUS presented and passed a motion restricting the pursuit of a CIS Championship by requiring Atlantic universities to have an AUS Championship to compete at a CIS National Championship. As there is currently no field hockey league in the AUS, this decision has effectively removed the possibility of UPEI competing at the national level.
“Our campus has always been proud of our student-athletes and their ability to compete at a high level,” said Nathan Hood, the UPEI SU Vice President Student Life. “I am very concerned about how this decision will impact our student-athletes, our campus spirit, and our community.”
Many of UPEI’s players have actively assisted local high schools by coaching their field hockey teams and refereeing their games, and were also active in elementary schools by introducing young students to the sport. The removal of UPEI’s chance to compete at the national level has the potential to damage the sport’s growth on PEI in the coming years.
A petition was recently launched requesting the reversal of the AUS’s motion to restrict the pursuit of a CIS Championship. As of 2pm on July 30th, the petition had amassed over 1,500 signatures.
“Our students and our community members have been very vocal about their opposition to this decision,” added Hood. “We hope that the AUS will recognize the negative impacts of this decision on both our campus and our community and reverse their decision.”
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