Growing safety concerns surrounding COVID-19 and Tuolumne County’s inclusion in the recent Regional Stay Home Order have led to the cancellation of Columbia College volleyball and basketball through the spring of 2021. Officials remain hopeful that the 2021-2022 season will bring athletics back to the Oak Pavilion and the community will be there to support the ‘Claim Jumper’ athletes.
A statement released Monday morning, Dec. 7 from the college indicated: “Columbia College will always place the health and safety of its student-athletes, coaches, staff, and community first. This decision is disappointing, but especially so for our student-athletes, who put in countless hours preparing for a modified spring season. We are committed to our student-athletes and will continue to provide them access to health, counseling, and student-athlete support services as they continue their academic journey.”
The statement went on to add that the difficult decision was made “keeping primarily two aspects in mind – health of our student athletes and medical system of our community. Playing contact sports in the middle of a pandemic brings high health risk to our athletes. Moreover, if COVID-19 spreads rapidly during athletic events, our medical system, particularly ICU bed availability may be jeopardized if the need for beds exceeds the availability.”
By not participating in competitive sports, Columbia College expects to keep both the students and the community safer.