McMaster is preparing for increased student activities on campuses, including U SPORTS and Ontario University Athletics (OUA) league-based sport in the 2021-22 season.
With health and safety guiding decisions, McMaster will require all student-athletes who wish to participate in varsity athletics to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine.
“This decision was made with the health and safety of our community in mind and aligns with the feedback we’re hearing from our student-athletes,” says Shawn Burt, director of McMaster’s department of athletics and recreation. “Similar to students living in residence, those in varsity sports are often in compact settings where they spend extended periods of time together in practices, competitions and group travel.”
Mateusz Wlodarski, a student-athlete on the Men’s Volleyball team says the vaccination requirement gives him peace of mind that his team will be protected as they travel and enter competition this season.
“So much work has already been done by our Athletics Department and OUA to announce a season for the upcoming year,” says Wlodarski. “It’s important for our athletes to get vaccinated and take advantage of the opportunity to compete once again. Vaccines are safe, effective and readily available.”
Mia Spadafora, student-athlete on the Women’s Basketball team, agrees.
“I am extremely grateful that McMaster made the decision to protect our OUA athletes by mandating vaccines,” says Spadafora. “After a long season away, I am so overjoyed to get back to my sport in the safest and most protected way possible.”
Student-athletes will be required to have two doses of a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine by September 5, 2021.
Hamilton and other public health departments in the province are now providing walk ins at most major vaccination sites which will make it easier for students to receive their vaccines. Provisions will be in place to assist international students in obtaining a recognized vaccine. More information is available here.
Information with details about vaccination requirements and exceptions for creed or health reasons has been sent directly to student-athletes. Student-athletes can also visit the Athletics and Recreation website for more information.
To find out more about McMaster’s planning for fall 2021 please visit Back to Mac for the latest updates.