It’s been said a billion times, but I’ll say it once more — COVID-19 changed sports forever. From players being sidelined because they didn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine to cancellations in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) to capacity restrictions in Ontario for major sports teams’ arenas due to the Omicron variant, 2021 and 2022 were full of twists and turns. As a global health major, I understand why these decisions had to be made — but as a diehard sports fan, part of me is heartbroken that fans have had to miss out on so much action.
OUA sports are a vital part of university life across the province. Regardless of what may be said about the Varsity Blues, those student athletes wear their hearts on their sleeves and leave everything on the field, court, and track.
The Varsity has been able to interview countless athletes over the past year, and each of them have provided unique insight into the sports they love. We’ve talked to a Blues goalie who suited up for the Toronto Maple Leafs, a legendary quarterback hanging up his cleats, tennis players who went on to win big at the provincial level, and even an Olympian! Without the Varsity Blues, U of T would be miserable, and I hope everyone has a chance to attend a game in the future — without any cancellations.
Covering the contributions of women in athletics has also been a crucial aspect of the section this year. From fighting back against clueless articles in the Toronto Star, to talking to women on the Varsity Blues about their experiences in their sport, it’s been incredible getting such diverse insights into perspectives that are too often ignored in sports media. I also had a chance to sit down with a viral TikToker who’s been able to garner an incredible platform and has been an incredible role model for women on the app. I am truly grateful for all of you who agreed to share your voice with us at The Varsity.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank my wonderful associates who assisted me on this journey. To Mekhi Quarshie and Audrey Miatello, thank you for keeping me sane, and for making the office a much more athletic space. You’ve both published incredible work, and I pray you both continue writing for The Varsity. You both have bright futures.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t thank my peers on the masthead of this volume for always holding me down at my most stressful moments and being there for me whenever I needed help. You will always have a special place in my heart.
Running the Sports section this year has been quite the journey. I’ve had the honour of publishing some incredible articles from all aspects of the sporting world.
At the beginning of Volume 142 of The Varsity, I promised myself that I would do my best to ensure that the voices of the athletes on the field and the fans in the bleachers would be recognized. Truly, I would never have realized this dream without all those who contributed this year. To all of you: I owe you everything. Thank you.