University athletes want the province to change its mind and deem them 'elite'
SUDBURY -- Players participating in Ontario University Athletics launched a new video campaign this week to get them back on the court and on the ice.
“The purpose of the campaign is to show the different facets in which the news has affected different athletes in the OUA,” said Taijon Graham, a basketball player with Nipissing University.
“In the video, you see athletes, coaches, those in the administration and even alumni who have participated in the Olympics and the Grey Cup, and how this has affected stakeholders.”
University athletes are not participating in games because of provincial restrictions that went into effect Jan. 5. Those health measures are set to expire Jan. 26.
University athletes have also launched an online petition to get the Ford government to reverse course and let the OUA resume play.
“It really started to see how many signatures we could get," said Graham. "We started to see 500, 1,000 and then it started to creep up to 5 000 signatures … It really shows that people are sympathizing with us and want us to get this elite status.”
Graham said university athletes are hoping the petition along with the video campaign, which has been viewed more than 50,000 times, will get provincial lawmakers to act.