December 2, 2022

The winter sports season is up in the air with COVID-19 cases rising again.

With what is now a second wave going through Ontario, college student athletes across the province must wait to see if they will be playing this coming semester. 

The Conestoga Condors men’s basketball team are doing their best with the cards that have been dealt to them. First year men’s basketball head coach Ahmad El-Osta is trying to keep the spirits high of his young team.

“We want to be involved in a lot of positive conversations. I have to set the tone and make sure everyone stays grounded, we don’t want to get too high or too low, we want to stay focused on our goals.”

Some sports won’t even be seeing a 2020 season after they were cancelled for the fall term. These sports include baseball, softball, rugby, rugby sevens, outdoor soccer, golf, and cross country running. The door is still open for winter and spring sports.

The OCAA currently has shortened seasons planned for the 2021 winter semester, but it depends on the evolving situation of COVID-19. A decision is likely to be made by the OCAA towards the end of October, according to El-Osta, but it is not confirmed.

For Conestoga Condors men’s basketball rookie Zaire Durant-Buchanon, it’s just another obstacle to overcome. 

“I have great teammates and a great coach who are making the best out of this situation and I thank them for that.” Durant-Buchanon is focusing on bonding with his teammates and coaching staff, improving his game, and always giving 110 pe rcent.

With over 4,000 college athletes awaiting an answer on sports this winter term, El-Osta and his team aren’t skipping a beat despite the situation. They are participating in Zoom workouts five days a week with the Condors’ athletic trainers and have weekly team meetings.

“Whether we have a season or not, we still want to be representing our college properly… we want to be first class and build a culture, that’s our condor way.” With the Conestoga College recreation centre still closed, the young team is focusing on individual workouts and mental health training.

Regardless of the situation college athletes around the province are dealing with, the Conestoga Condors men’s basketball team are locked in and prepared for whatever 2021 may bring.

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